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My secondment is hosted by the Royal College of Pathologists, underwork package 3. Improving laboratory diagnosis and quality assurance systems for population screening.

It began with an introduction at the College.  I remember the first day like it were yesterday.  I met with members of the International Team and other staff.  I even had the pleasure of meeting Dr Maadh Aldouri, Clinical Director for International Activities.  I felt very welcomed.

The days that followed I undertook eLearning that covered some fundamental aspects of laboratory skills such as external and internal quality control and control of substances hazardous to health (COSHH) to name a few.

In addition to this I have been able to enhance my knowledge in topics covering essential skills, such as general data protection regulations (GDPR), bullying and harassment and equality and diversity.  I have learnt a great deal from exploring these important subjects and look forward to being able to share my knowledge with colleagues by providing step-down training on my return to the laboratory in Kafanchan.

In March I joined Yvonne Daniel and her very professional and friendly team in the laboratory at Guys and St Thomas’, where I was able to observe the practical elements of a haemoglobinopathy laboratory from a UK viewpoint.   I learnt how to do solubility tests, observed how a daily maintenance on the Bio-Rad analyser for HPLC is carried out and saw how quality control for HPLC is done before the samples are analysed, besides more.

This experience has allowed me to identify possible changes that could be made to our own processes in the laboratory in Kafanchan to help improve our ways of working and contribute to achieving the aims of the ARISE project.

It’s not only the professional aspects of this secondment that have been an interesting experience.  Travelling on the underground and getting use to the busy rush hour took some getting used to, but I’m pleased to say I’m now much more confident finding my way around.  This has enabled me to help secondees who arrived after me to discover some of what London has to offer, such as Spitalfields and Colombia Road Flower Markets.

I would like to thank the ARISE Team and The Royal College of Pathologists for an opportunity that at one time I could only have dream of.