The Public Health Institute of Malawi (PHIM), a leading institution in healthcare, through the Division of National Public Health Laboratory Services, with financial support from the World Bank, has organised a refresher training with a vital purpose of promoting integrated laboratory testing using the Gene-Xpert.

The training of trainers took place at Dedza Pottery Lodge from the 13th –  17th of May, 2024. The meeting was opened by the Deputy Director of the Public Health Institute of Malawi (PHIM) responsible for the laboratory, Mr Joseph Bitilinyu Bangoh.

IntegratedvGene-Xpert Trainees attentively listened to opening remarks by the Deputy Director of the Public Health Institute of Malawi (PHIM) responsible for the Laboratory, Mr Jospeh Bitilinyu Bangoh.

GeneXpert is a PCR machine that amplifies DNA or RNA for viral particles and organisms. In Malawi, the machine was mainly used for the detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) and its associated resistance to Rifampicin and Isoniazid, HIV Viral Load (VL) and Early Infant Diagnostic (EID) and later, with the coming of SARS-CoV 2, the tests were added to the machine to detect viruses.

It is of late that the machine, with the advancing technology, is now used to detect MTB in children’s stool, following the principle that children could shed MTB in their stool after swallowing the sputum at night. Another platform was added in the detection of Human papillomavirus (HPV) in women for early detection of the virus before advancing to advanced cervical cancer. 

This detection of multiple human infections shall trigger the laboratory to have several integrated testing activities targeting GeneXPert.

The trainees getting clarified on a point.

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