In many parts of the world there is poor diagnosis of fungal infections. Part of the problem is a lack of expertise and equipment in the many diagnostic labs that already exist and in some there is a lack of a reliable electricity supply so sophisticated machines are not going to help the situation. This is a significant barrier to getting the right treatment to many millions of people worldwide.
The Fungal Infection Trust has designed and built a series of online courses that are intended to train people to diagnose all fungal infections using nothing more than a light microscope and a few simple stains.
Microfungi.net is a series of four modules translated into four languages (English, Spanish, Portuguese and French) with more to come in Chinese. Participating is free of charge and qualifies the participant to receive a certificate accredited by the University of Manchester, UK.
Module 1 – Teaches basic microscopy, stain preparations and staining techniques
Module 2 – How to use basic microscopy methods on wet mounted samples from a wide diversity of human tissues
Module 3 – An introduction to Histology and identification of fungal elements in many human tissues
Module 4 – An advanced course to learn skills in microscopy and histology for the identification of uncommon and very rare fungal pathogens
This course has been available for 18 months and hundreds of people have visited the site and started a course, but much more needs to be done and many more people need to become aware of this resource.
In addition large parts of the world do not speak any of the languages we have mentioned so far, so we need to add more translations to make this valuable resource more widely available.