IAS assists Samoa in setting up of Public Health Surveillance Laboratory

(l-r), Arun Pande, Snr Technian, IAS, Fetu Tuilagi Toalima, Environmental Health Officer, Mele Tanielu, Senior Water Quality Officer & Sinei Fili, Principal Environmental Health Officer at the IAS Microbiology Laboratory.

The Institute of Applied Sciences Analytical Laboratory recently hosted a group of six Samoa Ministry of Health (MOH) team for a two week long attachment/training. The attachment which commenced on the 18th of April came about from a request by the Samoan Health Ministry in an effort to familiarize the officers on good laboratory practices that ensures the quality and reliability of their laboratory and filed work. Further, MOH Samoa is in the process of setting up a Public Health Laboratory and the officers were here to have a feel of the set up of an Internationally Accredited Laboratory.

IAS Technician Tima Waqainabete (centre) conducting food chemical analysis training for the Samoa MOH officials.

According to Mr. Sinei Fili, Principal Environment Health Officer, IAS was chosen over other labs in the Asia/ Pacific  region because of its accreditation status as well the similarities in operating environment.

While here, the participants had a hands-on training with discussions by senior IAS personnel. They had the opportunity to look at the overall quality aspect of a testing laboratory in particular chemical and microbiological testing of Food,  Water and Environmental samples for public health purposes.  One of the participants, Ms Mele Tanielu, Senior Water Quality Officer, said that the training has greatly enhanced their knowledge on the steps to be taken in setting up of the Laboratory and the procedures to be followed to ensure the reliability and quality of data obtained.

IAS Technician Riaz Ali (centre) conducting food analysis training for the Samoa MOH officials.

During the closing ceremony, Mr. Fili mentioned how impressed he was with the kind of work being done at IAS. He added that IAS was better suited to training Pacific Islanders in these applied sciences as they have a lot in common. He rated IAS above other Australasian institutions that he had attended similar training in.

Professor Aalbersberg, the Director, IAS, said that IAS was glad to be approached by the Government of Samoa to conduct the training and that IAS will continue to offer its services in assisting member countries in the areas of applied sciences. This training he said went a long way in fulfilling the University’s mission in increasing knowledge and understanding of issues that will benefit the Pacific.

The IAS Laboratory is internationally accredited and its services are increasingly being sought by USP member countries.

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