LSTM's International Multidisciplinary Programme to Address Lung Health and TB in Africa (IMPALA) and Lung Health in Africa across the life course (LuLi) initiatives together with the Pan African Thoracic Society (PATS) are making great progress in the development of their African specific spirometry training programme.
Associate Professor Mbatchou Ngahane Bertrand Hugo (University of Douala) and Dr Herve Lawin (University of Abomey Calavi, Cotonou) with their teams, came together on the 3rd – 6th August in Douala, Cameroon, to host the PATS Certificate of Competence in Spirometry foundational short course in preparation for the start-up of their LuLi projects in Cameroon and Benin.
18 Cameroonian and 6 Beninese participants met up to their respective country mottos: “Peace, Work, Fatherland” and “Fraternity, Labour, Justice” during their 3 days of learning in the theory and practical application, measurement and interpretation of spirometry. Each learner took the opportunity provided by preparing well and focusing fully. The hard work paid off with a 90% pass rate ensuring that our objective of upskilling each research team to produce high quality spirometry in their upcoming research projects is well underway.
This was the second in a series of 8 training workshops to be held across Africa and the first to be translated into French, only made possible by the generous collaboration between our South African, Cameroonian and Beninese colleagues. The presentation of the dual translated materials was achieved using both French and English facilitation. STSA celebrate this step forward and give sincere thanks to Bertrand and Herve with their assistance with this.
Spirometry Quality Assurance and Over-reading Workshop
The foundational training was followed by our second quality assurance and over-reading workshop in which the participants gained insights and understanding into the quality assurance processes expected and required for spirometry conducted in research. Through this work PATS is establishing clear spirometry quality assurance processes and guidelines for respiratory African researchers.
The spirometry equipment donated by LuLi to the research teams in Cameroon and Benin will be used by participants to complete their post training practical requirements. There remains a severe shortage of equipment for use post-training with some participants based up to one to two days journey away from the closest spirometer. These challenges make post training requirements for the collection of portfolios of evidence challenging.
Thanks go again to the European Respiratory Society for donation of spirometers which are used for training and loaned out to young African researchers.
This work was supported by the MRC GCRF-funded project "Lung Health in Africa across the life course” (LuLi) [grant number MR/P022006/1]
Report by Lindsay Zurba of Spirometry Training Services Africa (STSA)