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Maximising mentorship : variations in laboratory mentorship models implemented in Zimbabwe
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  • Description:
    Background: Laboratory mentorship has proven to be an effective tool in building capacity and assisting laboratories in establishing quality management systems. The Zimbabwean Ministry of Health and Child Welfare implemented four mentorship models in 19 laboratories in conjunction with the Strengthening Laboratory Management Toward Accreditation (SLMTA) programme.

    Objectives: This study outlines how the different models were implemented, cost involved per model and results achieved.

    Methods: Eleven of the laboratories had been trained previously in SLMTA (Cohort I). They were assigned to one of three mentorship models based on programmatic considerations: Laboratory Manager Mentorship (Model 1, four laboratories); One Week per Month Mentorship (Model 2, four laboratories); and Cyclical Embedded Mentorship (Model 3, three laboratories). The remaining eight laboratories (Cohort II) were enrolled in Cyclical Embedded Mentorship incorporated with SLMTA training (Model 4). Progress was evaluated using a standardised audit checklist.

    Results: At SLMTA baseline, Model 1–3 laboratories had a median score of 30%. After SLMTA, at mentorship baseline, they had a median score of 54%. At the post-mentorship audit they reached a median score of 75%. Each of the three mentorship models for Cohort I had similar median improvements from pre- to post-mentorship (17 percentage points for Model 1, 23 for Model 2 and 25 for Model 3; p > 0.10 for each comparison). The eight Model 4 laboratories had a median baseline score of 24%; after mentorship, their median score increased to 63%. Median improvements from pre-SLMTA to post-mentorship were similar for all four models.

    Conclusion: Several mentorship models can be considered by countries depending on the available resources for their accreditation implementation plan.

    The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the CDC or the other organisations for which they work.


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