This week a team of APHL staff and consultants traveled to Freetown, Sierra Leone where they will join US federal and Sierra Leonean partners to launch a year-long project to support and strengthen the country’s laboratory system in the aftermath of the Ebola crisis. This initiative builds on APHL’s longstanding relationships with laboratory and public health partners in Sierra Leone. We are proud of these relationships; proud of our partners, staff and consultants; and eager to begin this critical work.
In addition to its project work in Sierra Leone, on October 15-16 APHL staff – in collaboration with the World Health Organization’s Regional Office for Africa and the African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM) – will participate in the Regional Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) Consultation for Laboratory Strengthening, a two-day meeting focused on developing resilient laboratory networks in Africa. This meeting will bring partners together to initiate and build consensus around an inclusive roadmap framework for the implementation of the Global Health Security Agenda across Africa.
Who is going?
APHL Staff: Scott Becker, executive director; Lucy Maryogo-Robinson, global health director; Ralph Timperi, senior advisor of laboratory practice & management
APHL global health consultants: Alpha Diallo, Paul Jankauskas, Kim Lewis and Jocelyn Isadore
What are the objectives of APHL’s work in Sierra Leone?
– APHL global health consultants will provide technical assistance to the Ministry of Health (MOHS) and National AIDS Secretariat of Sierra Leone in coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to strengthen laboratory infrastructure and capacity. This support will entail guidance on implementation of the National Laboratory Strategic Plan, mentoring and participation in the laboratory technical working group, and mentoring and training for the Central Public Health Reference Laboratory staff, all with the goal of strengthening lab capacity in Sierra Leone.
– APHL, in collaboration with CDC Division of Global HIV/AIDS and the MOHS of Sierra Leone, will assist in the development and implementation of a National Laboratory Strategic Plan for the MOHS. APHL will conduct a range of activities to build capacity for testing at the Central Public Health Reference Laboratory and to develop a team of laboratory scientists who can conduct reference testing services and provide training to other laboratories in the MOHS network. A National Surveillance Strategic Plan will detail linkages between epidemiology and laboratory.
– APHL will support the laboratory science staff at the Central Public Health Reference Laboratory through training and mentoring in testing methods, quality systems, laboratory management and accreditation. APHL will expand staff knowledge and increase the number of staff at the Central Public Health Reference Laboratory in order to increase testing volume and the range of tests.
– APHL will work to strengthen laboratory management and move the Central Public Health Reference Laboratory towards accreditation. APHL will review the National Laboratory Strategic Plan to assess Sierra Leone accreditation goals, and work towards accreditation through training, mentoring and implementation of improvement projects.
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