Improving Laboratory Systems and Services in Africa
Since 2006, Accordia and BD (Becton Dickinson and Company) have partnered to address the critical need to strengthen the capacity of laboratory professionals to ensure reliable and accurate laboratory diagnostic testing. Quality laboratory testing is crucial to confirm clinical diagnoses, conduct accurate infectious disease surveillance, and advance public health policy. Working in close partnership with BD and the Infectious Disease Institute (IDI), Accordia developed the Laboratory Training Program, an evidence-based training curriculum specifically targeting laboratory personnel.
The Laboratory Training Program builds regional laboratory capacity by improving technical and management skills among laboratory personnel to provide rapid, accurate, and reliable diagnostic tests. This in-turn enables healthcare providers to deliver more effective, life-saving treatment. Accordia has refined and evaluated the training model over the years, adding supplemental modules and outreach components creating a multiplier effect that allows for the rapid dissemination of the training program, while upholding quality standards. To further scale up the program to meet national and regional needs in East Africa, Accordia and IDI are applying proven approaches to the cost-effective delivery of on-site support and follow-up supervision in trainee’s home laboratories.
Accordia and IDI’s strategic efforts to enhance laboratory capacity through appropriate and intensive training in laboratory skills, strengthening laboratory management, and investing in appropriate equipment have achieved great success. Since 2008, Accordia and IDI have worked with the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and BD to develop the capacity of laboratory systems at the national, district and facility levels by providing technical assistance to strengthen laboratory management capacity throughout Africa. In 2011, Accordia further expanded its regional impact by partnering with Fondation Mérieux and PEPFAR to adapt the Laboratory Training Program for the West African context. This new partnership is not only improving and expanding HIV/AIDS training, but also mentoring the future leadership of laboratories for French-speaking laboratory technicians serving in West Africa.
Through these strategic partnerships and others, Accordia continues to build the laboratory capacity in sub-Saharan Africa to perform accurate and reliable diagnostics, ensure quality care and improved patient monitoring.