To improve health care delivery systems in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), BD and the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation are joining forces to develop a center of excellence in Occupational Health and Immune System Monitoring which will focus on health care delivery, research, education, and training at the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital (BMMH) and Research Center in Kinshasa, DRC. The two institutions agree to combine their resources and expertise in the necessary areas. BD will provide a cash donation, as well as medical and laboratory equipment. The Dikembe Mutombo Foundation will support training and implementation for a health worker safety program.
In environments with limited resources, bloodborne disease such as Hepatitis and HIV are spread to workers and patients in the healthcare environment primarily as a result of reuse of unsterile injection devices, accidental injuries to health workers, and unsafe blood handling procedures. The BMMH is committed to preventing such practices and welcomes the partnership with BD. BD commits to sharing best practices, to train the BMMH's workforce, and to supply reuse prevention and safety engineered medical devices.
Immune system monitoring is an essential component of treating people living with HIV/AIDS. Accurate measurement of a patient's CD4 count enables clinicians to determine when to initiate antiretroviral treatment (ART). ART reduces susceptibility to opportunistic and potentially lethal infections, enabling HIV/AIDS patients to sustain a productive life. CD4 testing is also useful in evaluating the effectiveness of and adherence to ART.
BD will contribute the following:
-Provision and installation of one in-kind BD FACSCount flow cytometer.
-Provision of in-kind FACSCount reagents/supplies for three years.
-Provision of in-kind safety medical devices including syringes, blood collection devices and needle disposal systems.
-Implementation of the Exposure Prevention Information Network (EPINet) surveillance system to monitor percutaneous injuries and blood and body fluid contacts in collaboration with the University of Virginia (UVA).
-Improve laboratory practice training in the area of immune system monitoring.
-Safe injection training.
-Assessment of the BMMH laboratory capacity.
-Assessment of the BMMH capacity regarding healthcare worker safety.
DMF will contribute resources and personnel, and will:
-Develop a department of Occupational Health at the BMMH.
-Continue to seek and obtain resources for the development of the BMMH as a Center of Excellence in healthcare worker safety and immune system monitoring.
-Establish a Regional Training Center in health worker safety at the BMMH
-Integrate the issue of occupational health in the agenda of the research center.
-Serve as a site for clinical trials and the testing of new devices.
Timeline will be as follows:
Launch with a two-day planning meeting in NJ between representatives of BD and DMF to develop a detailed plan and timeline for 3-year project: (BD and DMF, October 2008)
Develop plan for creation of hospital dept of Occupational Health including department charge, organization chart, staffing, location, and budget. Develop position descriptions. Recruit and hire. Collect baseline data. (DMF, September to December 2008)
BD representatives visit BMMH for need assessment (BD and DMF, late November to early December 2008)
A schedule for product shipment will be finalized after initial assessment and it is expected that product will be shipped within the first 18 months of this commitment.
Hold training of DMF staff at UVA (Spring 2009; March or April 2009)
Lab Training (DMF, BD or BD contractors in Kinshasa, May 2009)
Protocols development and deployment of new devices and lab equipment (DMF, BD and UVA, May-June 2009)
Roll out Epinet and Quality Assurance program for Occupational Health at BMMH (BD, UVA and DMF July 2009)
Follow up meeting of Advisory Group in Kinshasa to assess progress, plan development of Training Center and Curriculum, and work plan for next 2 years (DMF, BD, UVA and others, October-November 2009)
Integrate training on OH and safety into ongoing staff training at BMMH (DMF, May 2009 and ongoing)
The Dikembe Mutombo Foundation (DMF) is seeking various kinds of support through donations, grants, volunteers, partners, or in-kind professional services. The Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital and Research Center is a newly-opened state of the art hospital in Kinshasa, the capital of the DRC. The country is only now recovering from the ravages of decades of war and disease. As reported by the International Rescue Committee, in the last ten years, a total of 5.4 million Congolese have died from easily preventable causes. Poverty is an overwhelming problem. In 2007, the DRC had a Gross Domestic Product of only $720 per capita. Life expectancy for males is 46 years and 49 for women. Twenty percent of newborns die before age 5.
The hospital has been doing very well, but needs support to fulfill its mission of improving health, education, and quality of life. In addition to the substantial financial commitment made by Dikembe Mutombo, the DMF has established several partnerships and received donations, which have enabled it to provide health services to the population of the DRC. To ensure the hospital's long-term sustainability, more partnerships are needed. The opportunities for collaboration, service, and teaching are unmatched and the satisfaction of contributing to the renaissance of a resilient people is profound.