Occasionally biological samples are forwarded from the Turks and Caicos Islands for specialty/additional testing by our overseas partners. It is absolutely necessary for this process to be done safely so that the handlers, the general public and the environment is protected from accidental exposure and any negative outcomes. Proper packaging and transportation of biological samples also minimizes delays in transportation and faster receipt of results; this translates into timely application of appropriate healthcare interventions which lends to better health outcomes.
To further improve the service, the Ministry of Health, Agriculture, Sports and Human Services, in collaboration with the Caribbean Public Health Agency, CARPHA, hosted a 3-day workshop in Providenciales on the proper packaging and safe transport of biological samples for laboratory testing. The workshop, which took place from the 27th – 29th November, was based on the International Air Transport Association, IATA, guidelines and facilitated by Ms. Jenna Indarsingh, Medical Technologist, CARPHA. IATA is one of several agencies which have created guidelines regarding safe shipping practices for biological samples by air.
A total of 8 modules were completed which covered shipment of various categories of samples ranging from high risk samples to exempt samples (samples unlikely to have any negative outcome if exposure occurs). The workshop was attended by 8 healthcare professionals from across Ministry of Health, all of whom were successful in the final evaluation and are now certified to ship infectious substances.
The Ministry of Health, Agriculture, Sports and Human Services, wishes to thank CARPHA for supporting the Ministry’s continued commitment to improving the healthcare services, and protecting the health of the population in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
For more information, contact the Public Health Laboratory Director Mr. Samuel Johnson on 338-5161.