Tanzanian officials gathered on June 21, 2014 to celebrate the accreditation of three laboratories that the CLSI Global Health Partnerships (GHP) program has worked with for more than six years.
The National Health Laboratory Quality Assurance and Training Centre in Dar es Salaam, the Bugando Medical Centre Laboratory in Mwanza City, and the Mbeya Referral Hospital Laboratory have been accredited by the Southern African Community Accreditation Service (SADCAS) after a year-long review process. The Muhimbili National Hospital Laboratory has been recommended for SADCAS accreditation as well. All four laboratories were mentored by CLSI staff and volunteers.
Following on the heels of two hard-won laboratory accreditations in Tanzania, the Mbeya Referral Hospital Laboratory has been accredited by the Southern African Community Accreditation Service (SADCAS). The National Health Laboratory Quality Assurance and Training Centre in Dar es Salaam and the Bugando Medical Centre Laboratory in Mwanza City also recently received SADCAS accreditation after a year-long review process. The Muhimbili National Hospital Laboratory has been recommended for SADCAS accreditation, as well. All four laboratories were mentored by CLSI staff and volunteers.
“One of the joys of the GHP experience is meeting amazing people wherever we go—people who are committed to making a difference where they live. Mary Kanyaman Ekai is one such example,” said Global Health Partnerships (GHP) Director Connie Adams, MT(ASCP).
Mary Kanyaman Ekai was born into the Turkana tribe in the northern part of Kenya. In her culture, women do not make decisions, she said, and her father believed to educate a woman was “an abomination.”
Five years of hard work on the part of two Tanzanian laboratories and the CLSI staff and volunteers who mentored the laboratory employees have paid off. Both laboratories have been accredited by the Southern African Development Community Accreditation Service (SADCAS).
The CLSI Global Health Partnerships (GHP) program is partnering with the Global Emerging Infections Surveillance and Response System (GEIS) Division of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center to improve the quality of its laboratory network, and the efficiency and accuracy of its testing results. This is the first time CLSI is working with GEIS, which performs surveillance for emerging infectious diseases that could affect the US military.
CLSI Senior Program Manager, Patrick Mateta, MT, MBA, laughed when asked if moving to the United States from Africa four years ago was a big change for him and his family. “Wow. Huge,” answered Mr. Mateta. “The first weekend, there was a huge snowstorm.”
It was the first time his three children, then ages 1, 8, and 12, had ever seen snow. The Zimbabwe native had relocated with his family to the Philadelphia area in December 2009 to work as a full-time employee of the CLSI Global Health Partnerships (GHP) program. He previously was a volunteer and then a contractor for GHP.
The CLSI Global Health Partnerships (GHP) staff is wrapping up a busy and successful year of traveling throughout the world to assist developing countries in improving the quality of their laboratories. Here are some highlights from the past year of activities.
CLSI’s Global Health Partnerships (GHP) program recently conducted its first Master Assessor and Master Mentor Training of Trainers (TOT) workshops since becoming part of the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) nearly seven years ago. The weeklong workshops were held in Tanzania, the first country GHP started working with under PEPFAR.
Global Health Partnerships (GHP) Director Connie Adams, MT(ASCP), was invited to speak at the annual meeting of the Philippine Council for Quality Assurance in Clinical Laboratories (PCQACL) from October 7–10, 2013 in Manila, Philippines. Ms. Adams presented an overview of CLSI’s GHP program and its Quality Management Systems for Laboratory Leaders Certificate Program, which launched in Vietnam in 2011.
CLSI Board of Directors President Mary Lou Gantzer, PhD, FACB, and Global Health Partnerships Director Frances Ingersoll, MS, MLS (ASCP), recently led a five-day document development workshop in Kenya to help the country’s laboratory leaders launch an ambitious program to validate laboratory equipment and reagents as they enter the country.
CLSI’s Global Health Partnerships (GHP) International Program Manager Leonard LaFazia, MS, MLS (ASCP), recently assisted the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN) with the development of a quality manual for the implementation of International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards ISO 15189, ISO 17011, and ISO 17043.
Last week, a laboratory in Azerbaijan, where CLSI’s Global Health Partnerships (GHP) team has worked for two years, made headlines by preventing an anthrax outbreak.1 The anthrax exposure was discovered in a flock of migrating sheep, which were vaccinated to stop the disease from spreading.
CLSI’s Global Health Partnerships (GHP) is expanding its quality management systems for medical laboratory leadership certificate program after successfully graduating its first class in Vietnam last year.
The country where CLSI first launched its Global Health Partnerships (GHP) program six years ago has begun developing a national laboratory policy with guidance from CLSI President Mary Lou Gantzer, PhD, FACB, and GHP staff.
Members of CLSI’s Global Health Partnerships (GHP) team traveled to Kazakhstan in February for a week of training and assessments.
CLSI’s Global Health Partnerships staff and Board of Directors President, Mary Lou Gantzer, PhD, FACB, are working with the Kenya Medical Technicians and Technologists Board to launch an ambitious program to validate laboratory equipment and reagents.
CLSI’s Global Health Partnerships (GHP) team hit the ground running in 2013 with staff and volunteers scheduling a dozen activities in seven countries. The intense schedule is expected to continue to the end of June as new workshops, meetings, and laboratory assessments are scheduled in countries throughout Africa and Central Asia.
More than 1,000 laboratory professionals, clinicians, researchers, students, and policy makers gathered in Cape Town, South Africa from December 1–7, 2012 for the First International Conference of the African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM). Five CLSI staff members attended the conference and led sessions, poster presentations, and meetings that focused on laboratory strengthening.
The GHP program’s graduates work in leadership positions at Vietnam’s Bureau of Quality Management, the three national Quality Control centers, and key national laboratory institutes. At the end of October, the students created posters and presentations for their final projects, which were followed by a graduation ceremony attended by the Vietnam Ministry of Health (MOH) Vice Minister, Nguyen Thi Xuyen; the US Deputy Vice Ambassador to Vietnam, Claire Pierangelo; and GHP Vice President Karen McClure.
When CLSI’s Global Health Partnerships (GHP) traveled to Malawi for the first time in the program’s seven-year history, the staff encountered laboratories that were ill-equipped and technicians who were improperly trained and/or lacked the tools to follow basic safety guidelines.
CLSI launched the GHP program in Tanzania in 2007 as part of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) laboratory strengthening initiatives. “In our work with them over the past five years, we realized that the English language was not the language of choice for most staff,” said Patrick Mateta, GHP Senior International Program Manager. “This created a communication barrier, and their understanding of the ISO standard and quality management system requirements was limited.”
Volunteers and staff for the Global Health Partnerships (GHP) team of CLSI presented a local quality assessor training workshop in June 2011, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The week-long program, which was attended by 13 laboratory professionals, is part of the process by which staff members from laboratories in Tanzania are trained to assess laboratories throughout the country to maintain and improve quality.
In February 2011, GHP launched and delivered a new training module, Developing a Quality Manual, in Abuja, Nigeria. Development of this workshop was spearheaded by Leonard LaFazia, International Program Manager of GHP, after recognizing the need for such training during his previous work in the Republic of Georgia.
Since 2008, GHP has been working in Mali to help the Malarial Research Training Center (MRTC) laboratory in Bamako reach College of American Pathologists (CAP) accreditation. The MRTC Clinical Laboratory supports malarial vaccine studies and trials conducted in Mali by the Malarial Vaccine Development Branch of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. In June 2010, MRTC achieved CAP accreditation.
number of resource-constrained countries we’re working in
number of partners we collaborate with worldwide
workshops that have allowed GHP Staff to reach over 3,000 laboratory professionals globally
A comparison of external audit results from 2010 to 2011 shows IMPROVEMENT IN % COMPLIANCE SCORES with checklist requirements in 86% OF GHP-ASSISTED LABORATORIES.