Thursday, June 27, 2019
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African laboratory Scientists Train on Bio-banking

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To ensure that quality samples are collected for research into sickle cell in Africa, the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria H3 Africa Bio-repository (I-HAB) has trained laboratory scientists from Ghana, Tanzania and Nigeria who are participating in the Sickle Gen Africa Project, a project researching into the genetic cause of sickle cell.

At the three-day training in Abuja, the laboratory personnel were trained on collection, processing, testing, storage, packaging and shipping of samples in accordance with international transport and repository standards.

Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) Program Manager, Mrs. Petronilla Ozumba stated that research quality is determined by the quality of samples collected from donors. “No matter how beautiful your bio-repository is, if samples that come in are not of high quality, there’s nothing you can do. For us to be sure that we are banking high quality samples, we need to work with those clinical sites, empower them and build their capacity,” she said.

imagesMrs. Ozumba said that the I-HAB bio-repository is serving as a bank of samples from H3 Africa projects and for eligible African researchers who will not need to collect more samples but use the ones available after passing through a qualification process.

Ezekiel Bomoin Ackah, a participant from Kwame Nkruma University of Science and Technology in Ghana, said that the training is an eye opener. “We have learned a lot concerning good laboratory practice particularly about safety and precautions to be taken whenever collecting samples, not handling them anyhow. I now know some things I can do to improve the concentration and quality of DNA that we would have. We may have been doing things our own way but with this training, we’ll be able to harmonize things,” he said.

Another participant, Oyewole Mathew from Lagos University Teaching Hospital said that the training has taught him the importance of quality samples. “Whatever you get from the sample determines the kind of result you are going to get. I’ve learned a lot about sample shipment in terms of moving samples from one state to another,” he said.

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 The Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria AITRP Training     Programmes are supported and funded by the Fogarty International Center.

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