African Society for Laboratory Medicine
The African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM), www.ASLM.org, is a pan‐African professional body working to advocate for the critical role and needs of laboratory medicine and networks throughout Africa. The Global Health Network, and Global Health Laboratories specifically, are very proud to be working with ASLM to improve laboratory capacity in Africa.
Laboratory services, networks and systems are indispensable to effective health systems. Medical laboratories play a pivotal role in global disease diagnosis, surveillance, outbreak investigation, initiation and monitoring of therapy, as well as research and development. Most medical laboratories in Africa are unfortunately underdeveloped and cannot meet the testing demands of rapidly growing health delivery services in the 21st century. Inadequate resources and diagnostic services compromise the quality of patient care due to misdiagnosis and consequent under/over treatment of disease which presents significant economic and public health challenges. Recognising the World Health Organization (WHO) Resolution AFR/RC58/R2 for strengthening public health laboratories in the African region and the 2008 Maputo Declaration on Strengthening of Laboratory Systems, ASLM addresses these challenges by working collaboratively with governments, local and international organisations, implementing partners, and the private sector to achieve the following goals by 2020:
- Strengthening laboratory workforce by training and certifying laboratory professionals and clinicians through standardised frameworks
- Transforming laboratory testing quality by enrolling laboratories in quality improvement programmes to achieve accreditation by international standards
- Developing strong, harmonised regulatory systems for diagnostic products as defined by the Global Harmonization Taskforce
- Building a network of national public health reference laboratories to improve early disease detection and collaborative research
Historical movement toward accreditation and improved laboratory systems has gained significant momentum in the past few years throughout Africa and amongst the international community. Through the ASLM2020 strategic vision, ASLM aims to maintain such momentum.
ASLM is headquartered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and serves all African countries. It is endorsed by the African Union.
Issue 9 features the original article "Addressing Cryptococcal infection in Africa: Better Diagnostic Opportunities Yield Results" as well as Cameroon Ministry of Health successes and ASLM programme updates on SLIPTA (accreditation) and ASLM 2014.
“Laboratory Medicine in Africa: Combatting Global Health Threats Together”
ASLM2016 is the third biennial international conference of the African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM).
ASLM2016 aims to serve as a platform for the international laboratory medicine community to share best practices, acquire knowledge and debate innovative approaches for combatting global health threats.
Specifically, ASLM2016 will:
- Provide information on the laboratory medicine landscape and needs in Africa
- Increase awareness of opportunities to invest in laboratory medicine amongst private, public and philanthropic donors
- Facilitate networking among participants, particularly for newcomers to African healthcare settings and markets
- Promote the creation of public-private partnerships to ensure further development of both African laboratories and African diagnostics companies
ASLM2016 is scheduled to be held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, in Cape Town, South Africa, from 3-8 December 2016. (The exhibition hall will be available from 5-8 December 2016.)