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Equip a sickle cell community lab in Cameroon

by Fr John Kolkman Foundation
Equip a sickle cell community lab in Cameroon
Equip a sickle cell community lab in Cameroon
Equip a sickle cell community lab in Cameroon
Equip a sickle cell community lab in Cameroon
Equip a sickle cell community lab in Cameroon
Equip a sickle cell community lab in Cameroon
Equip a sickle cell community lab in Cameroon
Equip a sickle cell community lab in Cameroon
Equip a sickle cell community lab in Cameroon
Equip a sickle cell community lab in Cameroon
Sickle Scan Point of Contact Screening Kits
Sickle Scan Point of Contact Screening Kits

Lab Space Update

Walls have been painted. Ceiling completed and floor tiles waxed. Cabinet shutters have been installed and partitioning of the room to work compartments has been completed. There is running water in the laboratory. Electricity from the 4KW solar system continues to perform as expected. The tiles for the worktops and faucets have been fitted as well.

Screening Kits Receive

One thousand (1,000) screening kits (Sickle Scans) were received at the center in August for use in the lab. The kits are part of the items for equipping the sickle cell community laboratory. Logistics for screening have been worked out. Screening of children is expected to go operational in November 2018.

Gratitude

The Foundation and its beneficiaries continue to express their gratitude to all supporters of making this clinic a reality. Despite the political crisis and internal displacement of families, we are making every effort to bring the work to completion and to serve as committed.

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Lab Floor Tiles
Lab Floor Tiles

Work completed

Tiling on the floor of the laboratory have been completed, cabinet frames built, and worktops installed. The sinks have been installed. Plumbing lines completed. The line for bringing water into the lab has been tested and there is enough pressure for water flow.

Work in progress

Building the cabinet shutters, partitioning the room to work compartments, painting of the walls, and connecting the water from the main hose to the indoor plumb lines,

Still to do

Procure and install furniture; install a water filter and electrical outlets, tile the worktops, and install faucets.

Challenges

Recent Socio-Political crisis, including internet shut down in the region has stalled the progress of this work. For example, with the constant shut down of stores and work places it is impossible to have materials in a neither timely manner, nor get workers to work or move between places when there is call for every place to remain close. Internet shut down makes it impossible to have updates via email or internet photo galleries.

Worktop Cabinet Frames
Worktop Cabinet Frames
Installed Sinks
Installed Sinks
Testing Water Pressure
Testing Water Pressure
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Testing Solar Components
Testing Solar Components

Background

As part of equiping the clinic laboratory, we quickly realized dependence on commercial electrical power was not viable and reliable, and installation not timely. The cost of a transformer and bringing electrical current from a high tension cable to the site over a 0.75 km distance was not affordable. Commercial electrical supply is not reliable:fluctuation in wattage and amperage, unpredicatble power supply interruptions for indefinate periods. To overcome this obstacle we embarked on a solar powered electrical system.

Solar Powered Electrical System

The 4KW electrical system comprises 2 x 400W solar pannels, a battery bank (800ah), PV inverter, circuit breaker, unit distributor, mounting board, circuit controllers and cables for wiring and outlet sockets. Local elctricians and carpenters were utilized in the assembly and installation. Pictures of the installation process accompany this report.

Performance

The rated output of the system was 4,000 watts (4KW). The inverter has two phase outputs, 240V and 120V. The 120V rated phase is in use. The actual voltage, when the system was powere, was recorded at 118V. Laptops, have been powered, from various outlets, 35 x 40 W  lamps are running with no electrical fluatuations in addition to appliances in use at the facility. The entire facility (not just the lab) is a beneficialry of the system.

A pressing iron rated at 1,500 W was tested. There was pouwer outage after about 5 minutes of continuos heating. We therefore recommeded no such appliances be used. 

With this installation the Foundation is absolutely electrical utility free.

Reroute

It should be noted here that when the project was conceived, isntallation of the electriical systemn was not included in the cost of equipment. But having realized that a laboratory cannot run successfully withot a reliable source of power it was necessary to reroute and have a power supply system in place.

What Next

The Foundation is now embarking on the aquisition of the hematology analyzer, to complete the hematlogy unit of the laboratory. We are therefore coming to our donors and well wishers to appeal for the last phase.

Appreciation.

We are greatful for all who have contributed towards the installation of this system. We heartily thank you for providing hope to our sickle cell community through this unique component of comassionate care. 

Solar Circuit (Control) Board
Solar Circuit (Control) Board
Solar Dashboard
Solar Dashboard
Panel mounting on clinic roof
Panel mounting on clinic roof
Battery Bank Installation
Battery Bank Installation
Lights on Clinic Corridor at  9pm
Lights on Clinic Corridor at 9pm
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Equipment Packages Received
Equipment Packages Received

We are happy to announce the receipt of procured required equipment and materials for installation at the laboratory in August 2017. The following inventory was received: electrical cables for wiring, two solar panels and power inverters, screening kits, laboratory supplies and consumables, sinks, centrifuges, test tubes and furniture. Work on the project had paused pending equipment receipt. With inventory completed, the installation phase of the project, per the revised project plan, is scheduled to complete in 6 to 8 weeks.

Meanwhile, we continue to receive clients in the partially completed section of the laboratory for very basic services, many of whom have expressed their joy at the walking distance from their homes. Remarked one mama “No more paying of taxis to go far, we just walk here”.

On completion and in full operation the services provided will include among others complete blood count analysis, sickle cell screening and malaria diagnosis.

Some equipment pre-installation layout
Some equipment pre-installation layout
"We just walked here, no more taxis to a far lab"
"We just walked here, no more taxis to a far lab"
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Plumb lines for water supply and drainage
Plumb lines for water supply and drainage

Introduction
In March 2017 FJK Foundation lauched a three phase project to equip a community sickle cell project in Cameroon's North West Region. Phase I - Conversion of an existing room into a laboratory; Phase II - Equipment Installtion and Testing; Phase III - Implementation. This progress report describes Phase I activities .

Space to be utilized
The allocated room is a 30 square meter space in a FJK Foundation owned sickle cell center. There are two windows on opposite walls without shutters, a rough concreted floor, cement plastered walls, secured door and no electricity.

Activities
A counter top to serve as work space is being constructed from concrete pillar bricks with a tiled surface. Water supply and drainage pipes have been completed along with the required sinks. Floor tiling is completed using 60 x 60 cm ceramic tiles.Tile quality was selected to withstand heavy traffic and facilitate cleaning. Elctrical outlets, switches and wiring are completed. The two windows without shutters now have shuters reinforced by iron bars to minimize risk of break in.

Eager to use the facility
There is a completed section of the lab that can be used for collecting blood samples. Esther and Perpetua (shown in picture) are the first beneficiaries of one of the many anticipated services to be provided out of this community laboratory.

Pictures and adjustments
The pictures show the progress of the work. In the initial project conception primarily focused on equipment purchase and installatiuon. But we quickly realized the space needs to be properly setup to be secured, have water, electricity, etc,, hence adjusting the plan, which also affects budgeting.

Phase I is in final completion stages and expected to be completed by July 28, 2017. 

Pillars for counter slabs: inspecting work quality
Pillars for counter slabs: inspecting work quality
Tiled floor to ensure easy cleaning
Tiled floor to ensure easy cleaning
Escavated drainage pit: to be filled with gravel
Escavated drainage pit: to be filled with gravel
Reinforced windows to minimize risk of break in
Reinforced windows to minimize risk of break in
A finished section of the lab in use
A finished section of the lab in use
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Organization Information

Fr John Kolkman Foundation

Location: Chicago, IL - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @fjksickle
Fr John Kolkman Foundation
neba ambe
Project Leader:
neba ambe
Executive Coordinator
Chicago, IL United States

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