Transforming the delivery of laboratory training in Kenya

Training for bleeding disorders laboratory professionals was severely impacted around the world by the COVID-19 pandemic, and Kenya was no exception. Face-to-face events became impossible, hampering the ability of laboratory personnel to get the training they needed to support people with bleeding disorders (PWBD). In order to ensure that education could continue, the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) collaborated with the Kenya Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists Board (KMLTTB) and the Kenya Haemophilia Association (KHA) to develop an online learning module for laboratory professionals. The online module offers users updated educational hemophilia and bleeding disorders content, and will train an estimated 3,500 laboratory personnel this year.

KMLTTB is the national regulatory arm of laboratory services in Kenya, and is responsible for registering and licensing all laboratory professionals in the country. The organization is also responsible for accrediting laboratories, defining the core curricula for laboratory sciences (pre-service) in the country, and managing the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program for in-service laboratory professionals.

Abel Onyango, the Chair of Kenya Medical Laboratory Board, KMLTTB
“This partnership… has enabled the laboratory board to think differently and be innovative, allowing us to deliver training online and focus on partnerships that are patient-centred.”

The online system—called eLMS—is used to upload the theoretical and practical aspects of laboratory training. It’s designed to help laboratory technicians upgrade their skills so they can become laboratory technologists—a more advanced designation. The platform is managed by the Kenyan Laboratory Regulatory Authority, which provides the curriculum requirements with guidelines. Ten training institutions selected from across the country then used this guidance to develop online modules. The WFH supported the training of expert curriculum reviewers as well as “train the trainers” sessions for the technical institutions. This was done to ensure that hemophilia and bleeding disorders content was properly integrated into the curriculum.

The online format of the platform has two major benefits: firstly, it allows for training to be provided to a greater number of professionals versus in-person training. Secondly, it significantly reduces the cost of providing training by about half.

The KMLTTB will continue to collaborate with the WFH and the KHA to ensure that Kenyan laboratory professionals have a strong fundamental bleeding disorders diagnosis training in the future. To formalize this collaboration, the three parties signed a memorandum of understanding that defines their working relationship, and how they will support awareness-raising and capacity-building initiatives in the country. Currently, the first 720 laboratory professionals out of the targeted number of 3,500 are taking online training through the eLMS platform.

Special thanks go to the KMLTTB Chairman Abel Onyango; Registrar Abdulatif Ali; KHA President Kibet Shikuku, MD; and Board Member Anastasia Khasiani; whose commitment and support made this project possible.

Training of 10 technical training institution members on laboratory diagnosis

Expert review meeting

Planning meeting with KMLTTB, KHA and the WFH