BSG Funded Educational Project Report

Project title:


Gastroenterology practice is gaining grounds as a clinical entity in Nigeria with specialists in endoscopy practice increasing. Also, the huge burden of viral hepatitis in Nigeria highlights the need for quality liver pathology to support the service. Consequent upon these, there is a leap in the volume of GI and liver biopsies from these invasive procedures. Thus there is need for quality handling and reporting of such expensive tiny pieces of tissue which hold a lot of useful information.

In order to address the gap emanating from the clinical practice of gastroenterology and laboratory input, there is a need to train both the technical staff and histopathologists to meet these challenges. This training workshop, therefore, provided a rare opportunity to build capacity in GI pathology.

Course Activities

The training was delivered as a 2-in-1 practical hands-on workshops which ran in parallel over a five-day period to 20 scientists and 25 pathologists invited from institutions with endoscopy and liver biopsy practice across the country between 9 to 13 September 2013 at the Department of Anatomic and Molecular Pathology, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria.

The technical aspect was facilitated by Mr Peter Jackson (retried Chief Biomedical Scientist, Leeds) and he taught the 20 participants on -

  • Correct handling and orientation of specimen
  • Maximizing use of slides by showing them how to make the necessary three levels on a slide and putting biopsies from multiple sites, e.g. a colonoscopic series, on one block
  • Special stains for GI and liver biopsies
  • Quality staining and quality assurance

The GI and liver biopsies interpretation sessions were facilitated by Dr Olorunda Rotimi (consultant GI histopathologist, Leeds Teaching Hospitals) using a combination of glass and scanned virtual slides to teach the 25 participants on -

  • Approach to GI and liver biopsy interpretations
  • Clinical uses of special stains in GI and liver biopsies
  • Report writing – what to include and use of template

A joint meeting with clinicians from two gastroenterology centres in Lagos with 4 gastroenterologists and one GI surgeon was held on the 5th day highlighting the:

  • values of regular clinicopathological meetings
  • what the clinician expects from pathology report and what the pathologist expects from the clinician.

General comments:

The training was a well received as can be seen from the feedback. The success of the project was encapsulated in what transpired at the opening session when one of the scientists said the aim of getting them to put 3 levels on one slide was an impossible task. However, by the 3rd day, the same scientist produced such a slide! The hunger for knowledge by the participants was insatiable and they all stated that more of such should be done regularly and made available for many more of their colleagues.

Dr Olorunda Rotimi
November 2013.