SummarySample Transportation aims to Improve the logistic efficiency for laboratory testing (e.g., early infant HIV diagnosis, diagnosis, CD4 counts) by transporting samples to a central lab and faxing back results.
Key program components
Early infant HIV diagnosis requires complex and expensive tests with significant logistical requirements, such as blood refrigeration and transportation. By collecting infant blood on dried blood spots (DBS), samples can be created that are both easy to collect and stable for relatively long periods without refrigeration.
- Samples were transported by DHL; testing was done at national HIV reference laboratory (dedicated technician doing a test on 48 samples/day) and results were returned by fax
- Average turnaround time = 9 days from collection to receiving result in clinic
- Nurses, midwives, doctors were trained in DBS collection:
- 1 day classroom training (review of HIV testing, data collection, infant test counseling, paperwork, new child health records show of DBS collection)
- Several days hands-on training
- Providers usually proficient after collecting DBS on 4-5 infants
- Botswana began its national program for prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT) in 1999; CDC’s Global Program has provided critical technical and financial assistance to the program since its inception.
- Only 930 infant infections occurred in Botswana in 2005, compared to 4650 infections which would have occurred without the program.