Spirometry course Cameroon

First French translated spirometry training

The Pan African Thoracic Society (PATS) together with the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine International Multidisciplinary Programme to Address Lung Health and TB in Africa (IMPALA) and Lung Health in Africa across the life course (LuLi) initiatives are making great progress in the development of their African specific spirometry training programme. 

Associate Professor Mbatchou Ngahane Bertrand Hugo (University of Douala) and Dr Herve Lawin (University of Abomey Calavi, Cotonou) with their teams, came together on the 3rd – 6th August 2018 in Douala to host the PATS Certificate of Competence in Spirometry foundational short course in preparation for the start-up of their LuLi projects in Cameroon and Benin.  

18 Cameroonian and 6 Beninese participants met up to their respective country mottos: “Peace, Work, Fatherland” and “Fraternity, Labour, Justice” during their 3 days of learning in the theory and practical application, measurement and interpretation of spirometry. Each learner took the opportunity provided by preparing well and focusing fully. The hard work paid off with a 90% pass rate ensuring that our objective of upskilling each research team to produce high quality spirometry in their upcoming research projects is well underway. 

The other exciting news about this training course was that this was the first French translated training. Generous collaboration between our South African, Cameroonian and Beninese colleagues made this possible. The presentation of the dual translated materials was achieved using both French and English facilitation. We celebrate this step forward and sincere thanks to Bertrand and Herve with their assistance with this.

Spirometry Quality Assurance and Over-reading Workshop

The foundational training was followed by our second quality assurance and over-reading workshop in which the participants gained insights and understanding into the quality assurance processes expected and required for spirometry conducted in research. Through this work PATS is establishing clear spirometry quality assurance processes and guidelines for respiratory African researchers.

Looking forward

The spirometry equipment donated by LuLi to the research teams in Cameroon and Benin will be used by participants to complete their post training practical requirements. There remains a severe shortage of equipment for use post training with some participants up to one to two days journey away from the closest spirometer. These challenges make post training requirements for the collection of portfolios of evidence challenging. 

Thanks go again to the European Respiratory Society for donation of spirometers which are used for training and loaned out to young African researchers.

Training spirometry trainers

During this training initiative we have made new Pan African friends and colleagues. A big thank you to Humphrey Atongno, PATS MECOR participant, for coming forward to assist in every area of the training. Welcome to the spirometry team Humphrey, we are excited that the pool of spirometry knowledge in our Francophone countries is growing. 

Special thanks go to Bertrand and Herve for their assistance with the enormous task of finalising the translation of the training materials and all the background work that made our training efforts successful.

Thank you to each of the participants who gave of their best and we welcome you to the PATS family.

We also acknowledge with grateful thanks Kevin Mortimer and the LuLi team for their constant collaboration and support.