Diagnostic X-ray facilities as per quality control performances in Tanzania
Journal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics
Tanzania Atomic Energy Commission, P.O. Box 743, Arusha, Tanzania; Physics Department, University of Dar Es Salaam, P.O. Box 35063, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
Without appropriate quality control (QC) and preventative maintenance (PM) measures for X-ray machines in place, the benefits of reduced dose to the patient and early diagnosis will not be realized. Quality control and PM also make it possible to unify X-ray-imaging practices in the country using international image quality guidelines. The impetus for the present work resulted from the concern that with the recent increase in the numbers of X-ray machines in Tanzania, but with limited technical support to maintain and operate them, can increase radiation risk to patients and lower diagnostic accuracy. The aim of this work is to report on the current status of diagnostic X-ray machines in Tanzania in order to produce the data needed to formulate QC and PM policies and strategies. These policies and strategies are needed to ensure that patients receive the lowest possible radiation risk and maximum health benefits from X-ray examinations. Four QC tests were performed on a total of 196 X-ray units. Accurate beam alignment and collimation were tested on 80 (41%) units, the timer accuracy was tested on 120 (61%) units, and a radiation leakage test was performed on 47(24%) units. Preventative maintenance tests were performed on all 196 X-ray units. The results showed that of the units tested for QC, 59% failed the kilovoltage (kVp) test, 57% failed the timer accuracy test, 60% failed the beam alignment test, and 20% failed the radiation leakage test. Only 13% of the units passed the PM test: 53% of the units were defective, and 34% were out of order. As a result of the PM findings, the government has introduced a rehabilitation project to service X-ray units and replace nonoperational X-ray units. The new units have full support service contracts signed by their suppliers. As a result of the QC findings, X-ray maintenance retraining programs have been introduced. © 2006 Am. Coll. Med. Phys.
article; equipment; evaluation; human; instrumentation; quality control; radiography; social control; standard; Tanzania; total quality management; validation study; Equipment Failure; Facility Regulation and Control; Humans; Quality Control; Radiography; Tanzania; Total Quality Management