Captain Banda Chibeza
Banda Chibeza (35) is a Captain in the Zambian Air Force. He is also a Laboratory Technologist by profession, working in the Hematology Department of the capital’s Military Referral Hospital known as Maina Soko Military Hospital.
Captain Chibeza joined the Air Force in 2002. Prior to joining the Air Force, Captain Chibeza worked with the Civil Referral Hospital of the University of Zambia for one year as a teacher, before he was recruited by the Air Force. At the time of his recruitment, the Air Force only had two Laboratory Technologists. After a rigorous interview process and intensive military training, Captain Chibeza qualified as an Air Force Personnel. “I appreciate the training we underwent because it has inculcated in me a form of discipline that makes all military trained personnel agile and dependable, qualities that have helped me succeed in my profession.”
Captain Chibeza is the 10,000 trainee of the IDI Training Programme. In April 2012, Captain Chibeza completed the Training of Trainers (TOT) course in Laboratory Work. Captain Chibeza considers 2012 a good and memorable year. “I am proud to be celebrating my 10th Anniversary in the Air Force, and also feel honored to be celebrated as the 10,000 trainee of the training department, in the same year." This is the second time that Captain Chibeza is attending a course offered by the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) Training Programme. In 2009, he participated in a course on 'Good Laboratory Practice'.
He highly esteems Infectious Diseases Institutes training programme, which has drawn Laboratory Technologists from across the continent and enabled them share experiences and improve their laboratory management skills. “The trainings that Infectious Diseases Institute conducts are evidence-based, and it was reassuring to know that all Laboratory Technologists across Africa face the same problems. It would be great to meet with my colleagues a few years later, after implementing the practices we have learnt, to see how far we have progressed.”
In the wake of Improved Laboratory Management within countries in Africa, the Zambian Ministry of Health has implemented Strengthening Laboratory Management towards Accreditation (SLAMTA) and has so far audited laboratories of five hospitals, among which was the laboratory where Captain Chibeza works, to determine whether all activities within the facility are conducted in accordance with set standards. “The first project we undertook prior to receiving Good Laboratory Practice training saw us coming last. After the second audit of our project, which we implemented with guidance from the trainings we received at the Infectious Diseases Institute, we came first and got a certificate recognizing our laboratory as the most improved.”
Captain Chibeza is also a teacher at the Defence Force School of Health Sciences, and hopes to spearhead the teaching of the TOT course at the Defence School. He is really excited about returning to Zambia and implementing the practices he has learnt, having been encouraged and motivated after visiting Kiswa Health Center. “Kiswa Health Center is my master piece: There is evidence of good documentation, quality assurance and management of laboratory personnel and client management.”