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Capacity of the Department of Microbiology
The department has walked forward from the corridor of another laboratory to have its own space through several steps of extension and renovation. Now, the department has eight functional rooms like reception corner for the patients, room for preparation of media and their quality control, data management section, meeting room and so on. The biggest area is devoted for routine bacteriological and serological work, while there are also laboratory areas for molecular biology and immunology related works.
Expansion of the Department
Department of Microbiology of Dhaka Shishu Hospital began its journey in 1983 in a corner of the corridor of the department of Pathology. There was lack of equipment, and constrain of space, both of which are essential to establish a good laboratory. The performance of the department in the collaborative work, achieved high appreciation from all the partners. This appreciation helped the laboratory get the necessary support to expand the department, at different stages, and ultimately bring it to the present form.
By and large there is always a huge disparity between the availability of laboratory capacity and the burden of infectious diseases. Department of Microbiology has successfully improved its capacity and applied those to explore the work on infectious diseases. The facility of the laboratory now ranges from culturing the routine specimens to molecular finger printing through PCR based identification and serotyping of the organisms. All these are achieved through collaborations with international universities and agencies and active cooperation from the hospital authority. In addition to building the capacity in respect of equipments and appliances, the laboratory has also developed the competence to maintain good laboratory practice.
Capacity and competence helped the department to achieve the recognition as the reference laboratory for S. pneumoniae and H. influenzae for several hospitals in Bangladesh and beyond.
Sheep blood is very important to run the laboratories. Recently, Department of Microbiology closely worked with the hospital authority and arranged to build a dedicated animal house with the help of Prof. T Nagatake of Nagasaki University, Japan and Mr. Biraj Khajanchi of Asia Foundation and Construction Limited, Bangladesh.
Though, Dhaka Shishu Hospital was founded with strong and high ambitions to serve the poor children of the country, and to do research in the field of pediatrics, limited resources have always been a hold back to fulfill these goals. Keeping this in mind, the department of microbiology has constantly tried its best to gather most of its resources by itself. In this process, most of the capital equipments and expensive supplies of the laboratory have been pulled together from external sources.
In the last one decade, the department has collected many capital equipments, these are in use for routine diagnostic tests and researches. The capital equipments are assets of the department and thus of the hospital too.
In addition to equipments, few new and expensive diagnostic kits, like bacterial antigen detection kit, specific antisera for identification, etc. are being available through the departmental research projects. These kits are also in use for the routine diagnostic purposes. If these tests come from paying beds, they are considered as payable tests. This is another way, by which the department is contributing in generation of income of the hospital. It can be mentioned here that, since April 2004, all the blood culture bottles used in this hospital are provided by PneumoADIP of Johns Hopkins University.
It must also be pointed out that the department has reached its present form of robust infrastructure through several expansions and renovations in last several years. All these were done by the help of the research collaborators and friends in the society, without any financial implications to the hospital.
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