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Lab quality leader mentors Africans

Gaman Modi is responsible for the Quality Management System in the Department of Laboratory Medicine here at St. Michael’s Hospital, but last year he received an opportunity to volunteer his skills on the other side of the world.

Toronto, January 6, 2011

Gaman Modi (shirt and tie) with staff on Mnazi Mmoja Hospital terrace in Tanzania. Gaman Modi (shirt and tie) with staff on Mnazi Mmoja Hospital terrace in Tanzania.

Under the PEPFAR (The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) program, Modi participated in a mentorship project in Tanzania as part of a global healthcare improvement initiative. The primary purpose was to build a strong Quality Management System (QMS) with standardized practices to enable labs to deliver reliable, accurate, timely test results for rapid diagnosis and effective treatment of infectious and other diseases.

“You can see the results, you are making a difference!” said Modi, who also said the experience was incredibly humbling. Stationed as the resident mentor at the Mnazi Mmoja Hospital in Zanzibar, he not only worked with the labs to teach them how to take ownership of the laboratory quality plan, but also taught them to eventually move the project forward on their own.

When asked about the most striking difference between working here and over there, Modi did not hesitate: “It reminded me of going back 35 or 40 years, but having all the expertise. It was a challenge to revert back to such basic technology.”

By Kate Taylor