Realizing the critical role played by medical laboratory technicians, especially following the outbreak of Ebola in Liberia in 2014, the Maternal Child Survival Program’s Human Resources for Health (MCSP/HRH) Project yesterday supported Career Day program activities for the technicians. The program runs from May 1 to May 5, 2017 in Montserrado and Bong counties.
The Career Day activities are being organized in collaboration with the Liberia Association of Medical Laboratory Technologist (LAMLT and MCSP HRH) and supported by pre-service training institutions, including the Phebe Paramedical Training Program, Stella Maris Polytechnic-Mother Pattern College of Health Science, and the Tubman National Institute of Medical Arts (TNIMA).
The event provides this cadre of health service providers with a unique opportunity to increase public understanding of their roles and appreciation for clinical laboratory personnel. The Career Day, according to Mrs. Marion Subah, MCSP’s chief of party, will also help to increase the deserved recognition of the profession as it supports improvements to the individual practitioner’s role, job satisfaction, and contribution to the community.
Secondly, she said the activities will also be used as a period to inform and educate medical colleagues and the public about medical laboratory work and the impact these dedicated skilled professionals have on overall patient care.
She recalled how in the past medical lab technicians were considered to be the brains behind the scenes, “but today, their highly critical role within the health care delivery system is visible.”
Medical laboratory technicians are disease detectives who perform clinical laboratory testing to diagnose diseases and monitor medical treatments.
Yesterday’s activities mainly targeted Montserrado and Bong counties, where the three medical laboratory training schools are located. The Montserrado County program was hosted in the conference room of Sharks Ice Cream, while the one in Bong County was held in the county’s administrative building.
During the events, laboratory professionals at the two sites provided up-to-date information on the laboratory profession and helped students understand the necessary skills to equip them for this career path.
The primary objective of the program is to also provide students graduating from high schools, especially females, with a “dynamic and tangible” experience that facilitates a connection between their academic pursuits and potential professional endeavors in the future.
The program featured presentations, drama, guided and peer discussions about the medical laboratory profession with the students and faculty of the pre-service education institutions.
The MCSP, a global effort to improve maternal and newborn health outcomes funded by USAID, is working with the Liberian government and its partners to strengthen health services. The MCSP/HRH is working in Liberia to improve health workforce readiness, with a focus on reinforcing entry-level registered midwives (RMs) and medical laboratory technicians (MLTs), and pre-service education. Part of the objectives of the program is to work to increase the quality of instruction and strengthen the learning environment at targeted pre-service education institutions.
Students at yesterday’s program were drawn from William V.S. Tubman High School, G. W. Gibson, E. Jonathan Goodgridge, and D. Tweh High School.
Partners involved in the five days of activities are the Liberia Association of Medical Laboratory Technology, Maternal and Child Survival Program/Human Resources for Health, Liberia Board for Nursing and Midwifery, Liberia Medical and Dental Council, Management of Science and Health, World Health Organization, Ministry of Health, and the Clinton Health Association Initiative. Others are Ministry of Education, Africabio, Tubman National Institute of Medical Art, Phebe Paramedical Training Program, Mother Pattern College of Health Sciences, Commission for Higher Education, and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).