Assessment of Histopathology Services in Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


Background: The scarcity of having histopathology laboratory in the nation will cause the difficulty to diagnose as well as follow up cancer diseases. Besides, the scarcity of professionals also contributes for the lack of the service in developing countries like Ethiopia. Laboratory laboratory personnel per year were 508 and 640. The lowest turnaround time (TAT) of 1 week for biopsy samples analysis was achieved by KGH and AFGH while three teaching hospitals had longer TAT of 30 days. (JUSH, HUH, ASUH) Conclusion: There is a scarcity of a histopathology laboratory set up as well as of pathologists and laboratory personnel. The available histopathology laboratories are not adequate and their distribution is concerned in Addis Ababa and major cities: besides; there is no histopathology laboratory in two regions of the country (Afar and Somali regions). Recommendation: The Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) must give attention to the regular distribution of histopathology laboratory service to avoid unnecessary traveling to find the simplest technique FNAC by the population. Moreover, establishing a sample referral network could help address the unmet gap as cancer is on the rise. It also recommended the training of pathologists as well as histotechnologists and establishment of new histopathology laboratories at non-available areas of the country. technicians who do not have proper training and experience are active in the current histopathology laboratories in these countries. Objective: To assess the histopathology laboratory practices in Ethiopia. Method: Cross sectional study-design, and convenient sampling method were used. Data were collected by using pretested observational checklist. The Principal Investigator (PI) collected the data in April 2015 at all histopathology laboratories in Ethiopia, which practice investigation of both biopsy and cytology, Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology (FNAC) and have set up of histopathology laboratory. The number of histopathology specimen per year computed the data by the number of pathologists and laboratory personnel in that laboratory. Data was entered and analyzed using Microsoft Excel 2010 software. Result: There were 11 histopathology laboratories who set up with equipment except Afar and Somali region where no histopathology laboratories were available. The available laboratories process and diagnose biopsy as well as FNAC. About 55% of laboratories in the country owned cryostat. All laboratories own microtome, 82% of the laboratories use automatic tissue processing and embedding machine whereas the rest use manually. All facilities use manual mounting and staining method, and 36.4% owned automatic staining machine. Grossing equipment and slide warmer table or oven is available at all facilities, whereas slide and block storage cabinet is available in 54.5% of the laboratories. The number of pathologists range between one and eight where AFGH, AGHMC, GGH have one. AHRI, KGH, GUH, ASUH, HUH, and JUSH have two. EPHI /St. Paul have four, and TASH has eight pathologists: thus the highest number of biopsies per pathologist per year was received by EPHI/St. Paul (1144), GGH (1008), and TASH (813). The highest FNAC per pathologist per year was practiced by GGH (4800), ASUH (1488), AFGH (1365), HUH (1200), and GUH (1196). The overall average numbers of biopsies and FNAC per pathologist per year were 715 and 901 respectively. Whereas the respective average numbers for histopathology



Histopathology Services