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Biomedical Science, like any other field of medecine is always in constant evolution. Everyday new discoveries are being made throughout the world., thus changing the way diagnosis and treatment of patient is being done up to now.

Hence, in order to keep abreast with all the recent advances in the field of Biomedical Sciences and to provide a high standard of service all the time , the biomedical analyst should imperatively have continuous and up-to-date training.

In all the developed countries, continuous professional training is usually provided by recognised institutions, like the IBMS in England, where its members get the opportunity to be in touch with the latest diagnostic technology. They can also share their acquired experience with their colleagues throughout the country and the world at large through seminars, CPD Courses and even biomedical journals.

Unfortunately, no such institutions exist in Mauritius and there is no proper structure to cater for the continuous professional development of lab technicians . In fact, they are left on their own after graduation from the University and most of them eventually loose interest in the job especially due to lack of incentives for further training .They just, in spite of themselves , indulge only in the routine day to day workload.

The ABA was thus founded in 1995 with the principal objective of reinforcing the professional image of our members and the biomedical community in Mauritius. We therefore encourage continuous Professional development through further Education, Seminars, conferences, writing scientific papers, journal-based learning and case studies.

Year 1999, was a turning point for our association. We organised a lot of activities including lectures on various topics of medical interest , career guidance day. Lunch for old people in homes and Christmas party for children at Yemen Sugar Camp.5 issues of our newsletter were released. All of them met with success.

All these activities helped our association to gather momentum and eventually we increased our scope of activities in the year 2000.

While continuing to organise our monthly lectures and other philanthropic activities among others . We have included new items in our calendar of activities for this year, namely:

A seminar on "Quality Control and Quality Assurance in laboratory services" was organised in May at the Gold Crest Hotel. It was attended by some 50 delegates both from the public and private laboratories. .Some distinguised guests like the former Minister of Health , the Chief Medical Officer, the Representative of WHO(Mauritius) , the Director of MIH & Dr Usha Gupta, chief Microbiologist at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences also graced us with their presence. This event even made the headlines of the Newspaper L'Express on Monday 8th May 2000. I must extend a very special thanks to Gamma Civic Ltd for sponsoring this event.

In May , we invited Dr M. Parry, Senior lecturer and course coordinator for MSC (biomedSciences) at the University of Westminster, to Mauritius. This visit enabled ABA to strengthen its link with the University of Westminster, where several ABA members are actually completing their MSC or PhD. We are also currently working on several packages in order to promote distance learning in the field of biomedical Sciences in Mauritius.

The health and safety week in July 2000 was a uniquely fruitful event for us laboratory technicians. It enabled us to be more conscious about the dangers of handling bio-hazardous specimens and the presence of inflammable consumables on lab shelves. It was also the first time that a lecture was organised especially for laboratory attendants to make them aware of the dangers they are exposed to and how they can protect themselves.

Here, I must thank all those who have helped us to make this event a success, namely Dr H. Phoolchand, specialist on occupational medecine, Mr. Karramchand Health and safety Manager Belle Vue SE., the Government Fire Services and Dr Pyndia, adviser at the Virology Dept Central Lab Candos. Less but not least , Mr. Hurloll of Oregon Trading Ltd. for sponsoring this event.

It was also with great pride and honour that ABA received an invitation from the Ministry of Health (MOH) to represent the lab services of Mauritius in the Salon de l'emploi at the University of Mauritius from 19th- 20th October 2000. During those 2 days a guide on the lab services prepared by ABA was given to all those who visited the stand of the MOH.

ABA has also published a l00 page report on the need of upgrading the current Diploma in MLS into a degree course. The report received a good response and is actually being studied by officials of the MOH. Moreover, negotiations is already underway between MOH , the University of Mauritius and University of Curtin (Australia) to find a correct formula in order to be able to complete the upgrading course.

But, on the other side of the coin, we find that not everything seems to be so bright in the world of ABA. Similarly to the fate of other such organisations , the ABA is facing threatening financial difficulties , worsened by a lack of interest from potential sponsors. Many activities had to be cancelled and our newsletter project for year 2000 suffered a serious blow, only 2 issues have been published this year instead of 4. However, we are compensating for these shortcomings by launching an electronic version of the ABA Journal on our website: http//:www.bioanalyst.tripod.com.

As you all know the road to success is not an easy one. In order to be able to attain our objective we will have to clear many hurdles. We had a dream some seven years ago. We wanted to upgrade the profession of Biomedical Analysts and to work in a better environment. We have travelled a long distance up to now but there is still a long way to go. If we stay united and determined as we have been for the past seven years we will surely be able to reach our destination.

Let me now also, seized this opportunity to thank all those who have, in one way or the other helped us during this year 2000 namely:

Dr Mrs Jeebun Consultant (Pathology)

Mr. Hosseny , PAS Ministry of Health

The Pathologists Central Laboratory , Candos

The Clinical Scientists central Lab Candos

The Chief Medical Laboratory Technician

All Staff Laboratory services

Ours sponsors, namely Gamma Civic and Oregon Trading

Dr Martin Parry & the University of Westminster

Dr Gopee and staff of WHO (Mauritius)

Dr Mohit and staff of MIH

Mr. S. Rago for this kind advice and support

I'm sure we will be able to rely on your support , again in the year 2001.

On behalf of all the members of ABA, I wish you all a Merry Christmas, a Happy and Prosperous New Year 2001.

 

Long live the Association of Biomedical Analysts

Mr. K. T. Ramessur

President ABA