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Laboratory Capacity Building in Africa. Tsehaynesh Messele , PhD CEO, ASLM. Challenges of Labs in Africa. Low priority and recognition in most national health delivery systems

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Laboratory Capacity Building in Africa

Tsehaynesh Messele, PhD



Challenges of Labs in Africa

  • Low priority and recognition in most national health delivery systems
  • Poor infrastructure, inadequate equipment and supplies, absence /weak quality assurance, shortage of trained personnel
  • Delayed or in appropriate response to epidemics, disease control and patient management
  • In general laboratory dependent programs are challenged
critical problems
Critical problems?

Poor communication

Poor Quality


Bad working Environment

lack of incentive package

Lack of networking

Limited External Quality Assessment (EQA)

Lack of accountability and responsibility

Lack Accreditation for laboratory system

Poor attention to Lab system

Lack of National laboratory policy

Poor communication channel




Inefficient service delivery system

Lack of training

Shortage of laboratory supplies

in adequate

Lab Facility


Lack of integration &uniformity

Poor referral linkage

Poor laboratory service


the ethiopian experience
The Ethiopian experience…../
  • EHNRI in collaboration with all stakeholders developed the first five year national laboratory master plan in December 2005 .
  • Strategic objectives to address the major gaps in laboratories at different levels.
  • The plan was revised in 2009 to encompass 17 comprehensive strategies aimed at developing a sustainable system that delivers quality and accessible laboratory services for integrated diseases
objectives of the master plan
Describe principles and procedures through which the National Laboratory System will develop capacity to meet the needs of the nation

Describe specific strategies and plans for the development and implementation of laboratory services nationwide

Serve as national operational guidelines for:

public health and clinical laboratories

health programs which rely on the national laboratory system for support

donor organizations looking to fill resource gaps

Objectives of the Master Plan
strategic objective 7

Build EHNRI’s technical capacity for training

Identify, prioritize and standardize in-service trainings

Support regional in-service trainings

Collaborate in strengthening pre-service training programs

Strengthen M&E for training programs

ASCP supported implementation of the training strategies

Strategic objective 7:

To expand and strengthen standardized training programs for laboratory personnel

training and other supports
TOT on Chemistry, Hematology and CD4 was given to >500 lab professionals with support from ASCP

The TOTs have been conducted in order to support the regional roll-out of training programs

Regional training teams were formed

Regional roll-out done

Was critical for successful expansion of the HIV care and treatment program

Technical assistance to support the development of SOPs

Training of two senior professionals abroad on quality laboratory improvement

Training and Other supports
regional roll out format







Regional Roll-Out Format






Path 1




Common Modules

Common Modules




Path 2

  • Trainings rolled-out in a cycle of 2 rounds
  • Trainees attended both trainings in order to complete all tracks.
    • The students only needed to attend the Common Modules once
  • In one training cycle, Chemistry and Hematology trainers will commit 7 days to teaching
    • 1 day to teach the Common Modules
    • 3 days to teach their module in the first round
    • 3 days to teach their module in the second round
  • In one training cycle, CD4 trainers will commit 4 days of teaching
    • 4 days to teach their module twice