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Leading health organizations launch new accreditation process for laboratories across Africa
Date:7/26/2009

ess on health."

El-hadj Belabbes, HIV Lab Officer for the WHO Inter-country Support Team, Central Africa, said the outcome is the result of efforts initiated by WHO-AFRO and HHS/CDC eight years ago, leading to meetings with partners in Zimbabwe, Ghana, South Africa, Ethiopia, and Senegal.

"Following these meetings, WHO-AFRO, in collaboration with its partners, has initiated the first phase of laboratory accreditation but also has started the implementation of comprehensive Quality Management Systems and laboratory management training," Belabbes said.

At the Kigali meeting, which runs from July 27 to 29, participants include 120 experts and policymakers from Rwanda, Botswana, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, Ghana, Uganda, and Zambia. The meeting will have three goals: unveil a blueprint toward the path of accreditation; obtain key stakeholders' support for accreditation; and showcase a task-based training program in support of laboratory improvement required for accreditation.

"This is a tremendous leap forward for diagnostic laboratory services in Africa," said Dr. Lee H. Hilborne, past president of the American Society for Clinical Pathology, which helped design the training program and will send volunteers from U.S. laboratories to assist the training. "The commitment of laboratories, Ministries of Health, and international partners, including ASCP, speaks to the realization that investments in infrastructure to date have matured to the point where it is now possible to explicitly commit to having Africa's laboratories aspire to and achieve compliance with international standards. The people of Africa and the world will benefit from this essential step forward."

"Every patient deserves "access to accurate and reliable diagnostics that meaningfully inform the care and treatment they receive. The laboratory accreditation process is an important means to encour
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Contact: Preeti Singh
psingh@burnesscommunications.com
301-652-1558 x5722
Burness Communications
Source:Eurekalert

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