A state-of-the-art Tuberculosis (TB) Laboratory in the newly launched Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Communicable Disease Center is the only diagnostic laboratory for all TB cases in Qatar.
The TB laboratory at the Communicable Disease Center (CDC) is an important part of the National TB Program for the country and operates similarly to the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology (DLMP) at HMC.
The laboratory is the sole provider of TB lab diagnostics in Qatar and provides this exclusive service to both public and private healthcare sectors. As the lab is the only TB diagnostic center in Qatar, this ensures that the CDC team has access to all the relevant information required to make clinical diagnoses and monitor patient progress, while patients undergo treatment at the center.
This state of the art laboratory is testament to HMC’s commitment to delivering world-class quality patient care. This modern facility is designed to meet the growing demand for the provision of individualized treatment and care to all patients, and works hand in hand with the Ministry of Public Health and other stakeholders to reduce the impact of communicable diseases on the population.
Dr. Zubaida Daham Al Suwaidi, Head of the TB Laboratory stated: “As the sole provider of TB diagnostics in Qatar, the laboratory conducts a broad range of TB tests and analyses using the gold standard test and the latest technology, microscopy, culture and drug susceptibility testing of TB as well as molecular diagnostic tests which provide rapid, highly sensitive and cost effective results.”
Dr Al Suwaidi highlighted that molecular tests have a high impact on patient’s treatment and management by speeding up the TB detection process. She added that the DLMP lab receives approximately 25,000 specimens and process 55,000 tests annually.
“The TB laboratory is a bio-safety level three (III) facility and is managed by a committed team of skilled clinical consultants, clinical scientists, and medical technologists with expertise in the use of sophisticated laboratory equipment. In addition to diagnostic services, the lab contributes to educational programs for university students, residents, and fellows in the field of infectious diseases. It also conducts and is involved in TB research within HMC for both national and international scientific groups," Dr. Al Suwaidi added.
In 2014, HMC’s DLMP chaired by Dr Ajayeb Al-Nabet, became the first integrated laboratory network in Qatar to have its laboratories accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP).
Dr. Al-Suwaidi further explained that with the highly effective National TB Control Program being managed by HMC’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer and Clinical and Administrative Lead for the CDC, Dr Abdullatif Al-Khal, the lab partners with the CDC, Ministry of Public Health, the World Health Organization and other stakeholders in the private sector, to report laboratory confirmed cases of TB in Qatar and explore ways to totally eliminate the infectious disease.