A laboratory service in a local hospital in West Bengal, India, is continuing to benefit from UK support offered by Mast Group and others post-COVID.
The Khristiya Seva Niketan (KSN) is a mission hospital in Sarenga, West Bengal, India. Sarenga is a remote rural area 4 to 5 hours’ drive from Kolkata (Calcutta) and 2 hours from the nearest city with modern facilities. The hospital serves a large rural population of mainly tribal people.
Ivor Mitchelmore (retired Chief Biomedical Scientist Luton and Dunstable) has been visiting KSN annually since 2014 with a couple of colleagues to try to establish a Microbiology service in the small laboratory at the hospital. Several companies have supported this effort including the Mast Group by providing equipment and consumables to get this project underway.
Unfortunately then the pandemic struck and Ivor and his colleagues were unable to support local staff when problems occurred.
Ivor managed to return to KSN in January 2022 and helped staff to overcome problems they had been experiencing with contaminated media .When Ivor returned to the UK a month later they had been able to set up processing urine samples for culture and sensitivity and they are successfully maintaining this service to date.
The next visit is planned to KSN is January/February 2023. Ivor is looking to introduce a manual blood culture service into the lab. At KSN, they have a young, highly skilled surgeon who is keen to see a blood culture system in place to support his work. Ivor is also hoping to introduce some wound microbiology into the laboratory at the same time. Mast Group, like other companies will continue to provide support for Ivor and KSN going forward with this project.