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CLSI Helps Tanzania Create First National Laboratory Policy

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.

Dr. Gantzer traveled to Tanzania early this month with GHP Director Connie Adams, MT(ASCP), and GHP Senior International Program Manager for Laboratory Strengthening Patrick Mateta, MT, MBA, to facilitate a three-day policy development meeting. Twenty-seven people from Tanzania’s Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, related government departments, major hospitals, and other stakeholder groups attended the meeting.

ghp-tanzania-photo

This was the policy group’s second meeting with CLSI. At the initial September 2012 meeting in Dar es Salaam, policy development strategies were discussed and a situational analysis was conducted to clarify the state of the laboratories in Tanzania. Results of the analysis will be used to guide policy development.

Participants were divided into three teams to develop proposed policies on topics such as human resources, finance, quality management, laboratory safety, and equipment purchasing.

Dr. Gantzer was impressed with the outcome. “All of their hard work showed how committed they were to developing the policies,” she said. This determination was particularly evident one evening as the groups continued refining their policy recommendations until midnight.

When the meeting ended, representatives from each team were selected to work together on the first draft of the national policy, which will be distributed to the full group for comments.

Gantzer, Adams, and Mateta will return at the end of June for a meeting to review the draft and the comments. Dr. Gantzer stressed that the CLSI team is acting as advisors in the process, while the representatives from Tanzania are taking the lead. “They are truly taking ownership,” she said. “There is still a lot of work to do, but they are making progress.”

CLSI launched GHP in Tanzania in 2007 as part of the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) laboratory strengthening initiatives. In addition to assisting with policy development, the GHP team is working with six national and zonal health laboratories in Tanzania to improve operations, implement quality management systems, and work toward compliance with international laboratory standards. The quality improvement program includes laboratory assessments, workshops, and placement of on-site mentors to train local staff.

CLSI is seeking corporate and foundation support for GHP’s laboratory quality improvement programs. If your company is interested in learning more about GHP sponsorships and grants, please contact GHP’s Director of Development, Lauren Wiley at 484.588.5935 or wiley@clsi.org.

 

Did You Know?

GHP has helped 4 LABORATORIES achieve accreditation to international laboratory standards. An ADDITIONAL 5 LABORATORIES are anticipated to achieve accreditation by mid-2013.

Patrick Mateta Video

Patrick Mateta, Senior International Program Manager, CLSI, describes the life-changing experience of volunteering for the Global Health Partnerships program.

GHP’s Global Partners

  • ASCP
  • ASLM
  • ASM
  • CDC
  • CHAI
  • FHI
  • GHSS
  • KIT
  • URC
  • WHO-AFRO
  • WHO-Lyon

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