Ghana - Improving Access to Lab Services
BD's longstanding collaboration with Direct Relief International grew stronger in 2008 when a team of 13 BD associates again traveled to Ghana for three weeks to help improve Ghana's access to clinical and laboratory health services. Our volunteers helped establish a blood banking system, conducted training sessions for obstetric care, infection control and healthcare worker safety, and helped improve clinic administration procedures. BD associates helped deliver and install the HydrAid™ BioSand Water Filters contributed by International Aid. These cost-effective filters produce clean water where it is scarce. This marked the fourth Company-sponsored volunteer service trip to Africa.
Uganda - Strengthening Laboratory Systems
BD continued its collaboration, begun in late 2007, with the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to improve laboratory systems and services in African countries severely affected by HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis (TB). BD and PEPFAR are working with country ministries of health, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and implementing partners in African countries to expand high-quality laboratory services based on each country's National Laboratory Strategic Plan.
Under the collaboration, BD contributes associates' expertise and donates cash to PEPFAR-affiliated non-governmental organizations. In 2008, BD deployed nine associates to Uganda to train workers and offer technical assistance for 79 labs. While helping raise the quality standards of diagnostics in those labs, associates also helped implement a TB specimen referral program to expand the reach of liquid culture testing by connecting local sites to centralized testing locations. Over the next few years, BD will deploy 50 to 60 associates to provide additional support.
BD also continued to provide cash support in 2008 for the Accordia Global Health Foundation's Laboratory Training Program at Makerere University's Infectious Diseases Institute in Kampala, Uganda. To date, the program has increased the laboratory testing skills of more than 100 African technicians.