Lab Matters Fall 2016 - Page 17

global health Uganda’s newly constructed National Health Laboratory Services building Uganda Launches Lab Network Self-Assessments by Martin R. Evans, PhD, CLT, MT (ASCP), laboratory consultant, APHL; Kim Lewis, MSc, laboratory consultant, APHL; and Sally Liska, DrPH, laboratory consultant, APHL GHSA conference self-assessment team meeting in Kampala GHSA Lab Network Assessment Process The GHSA Laboratory Network Assessment process was developed collaboratively by APHL and the African Society of Laboratory Medicine (ASLM). The assessment tool, known as the “scorecard,” complements the World Health Organization GHSA Joint External Assessment, which evaluates the full GHSA Action Package addressing laboratory networks and systems. The scorecard assigns laboratories a numerical maturity level between 0 and 5 for each component within nine core capabilities: 1. Political, legal, regulatory and financial framework 2. Structure and organization of the laboratory network 3. Coverage and Rapid Response 4. Laboratory Information 5. Infrastructure 6. Laboratory Workforce 7. Quality of Laboratory Services 8. Biosafety and Biosecurity 9. Priority Diseases PublicHealthLabs @APHL I n May 2016, APHL laboratory consultants Kim Lewis, Sally Liska and Martin Evans facilitated a Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) Laboratory Network Assessment in Uganda. As in other such GHSA assessments, Uganda voluntarily elected to conduct the assessment, which involves an initial, paper self-assessment and an external field verification of findings conducted by a team of laboratory consultants. Assessment results provide GHSA baseline data and identify weaknesses and gaps in the Ugandan laboratory network and systems. The results will inform updates to the country’s national laboratory strategic plan. In Kampala, the team met with a broad cross-section of laboratory representatives—led by Dr. Steven Aisu, director of the Central Public Health Laboratory—to review and verify selfassessment scores for each core capability. The meeting provided an opportunity for medical laboratory professionals to meet with staff from Agriculture and other sectors critical to understanding the interactions of the One Health model supported by the GHSA. In addition, the APHL team spent several days visiting referral hospitals and clinic laboratories to study the functionality of the tiered public health laboratory network and to verify previous assessment scores. On the final day, the APHL team debriefed the in-country representatives and delivered a written report to the director of Laboratory Servi