The establishment of sperm morphology satellite training laboratories in Africa
Discrepancies in the results of semen analysis can be caused by a variety of factors, for example, a microscope for semen analysis can be situated in the practice of an urologist, cytologist or microbiologist, or even in a health care office in the countryside in a developing country. The study aimed to evaluate the (i) sperm morphology assessment skills of the participants who attended WHO seminology workshops and (ii) to appraise the possibility of using trained technologists to set up satellite training facilities in their own area. The Centre for Research in Reproductive Health, Ogun State University Teaching Hospital (Nigeria) initiated training sessions in their area. Subsequently, 16 technologists were trained in three sessions. Papanicolaou-stained slides, supplied by Tygerberg were used as test material. Pre- and post-training results were used to calculate the mean percentage of normal cells as well as the percentage deviation from the reference laboratory. The mean percentage normal spermatozoa recorded by the Nigerian trainees during pre-training evaluations differed by 38% from the reference value, compared with a post-training difference of 16% (P < 0.001). Tertiary academic hospitals can play an important educational role in the region. The present results underline the power of long distance educational programmes. Similar laboratories are currently being set up in Kenya and Zambia. © 2005 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.