Quality Management System: Owning the Response

Date: Wednesday, 12 December 2018
Time: 14:30 – 16:00
Location: Niger/Enugu

Session Overview:
In 2011, the World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa (WHO/AFRO), along with other major stakeholders, launched the Stepwise Laboratory Quality Improvement Process Towards Accreditation (SLIPTA). Since then, it has become a flagship program. While the programme has seen many successes, by end of 2017, the African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM), as the implementer of the SLIPTA program in Africa, had audited only a little over 300 laboratories in 19 African countries and trained and certified over 160 ASLM SLIPTA auditors on the continent. Although the exact number of medical laboratories in Africa is not known, there is still a huge gap in coverage and there is an urgent need for a rapid scale-up of the SLIPTA programme. The SLIPTA programme, like most programs supported by the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, (PEPFAR), was rolled out largely in sub-Saharan Africa, while other regions still remain underserved like West and Central Africa. Private sector laboratories and faith-based or non-governmental organization have remained behind as the programme’s initial reach was to public health laboratories. In addition, there still remains inadequate coverage within countries and this is compounded by in-country limited capacity to conduct SLIPTA audits.

Goal of the session:
This session will seek to advocate for an approach (SLIPTA) that will increase coverage, capacity and country ownership of the SLIPTA program to all regions of the African continent. SLIPTA will also allow expanding to non-governmental based laboratories, countries out of the WHO/AFRO region, and other innovations.

Key messages:

  • SLIPTA should be a country-owned program that is housed and driven by Ministry of Health departments utilizing the resources available,
  • SLIPTA should be institutionalized within Ministries of Health and become part of national quality assurance programs,
  • SLIPTA will use the locally trained and ASLM-certified auditors to reduce the cost of the SLIPTA program,
  • More SLIPTA collaborating regional and in-country partners and institutions should be engaged to support rapid expansion and scale-up of SLIPTA, and
  • SLIPTA’s funding base should be diversified through collaboration with many partners.
  • Setting the Stage: Laboratory Quality Programs in Africa
    • Anthony Emeribe, University of Calabar, Nigeria
  • SLIPTA Programme Accomplishments
    • Teferi Mekonen, African Society for Laboratory Medicine, Ethiopia
  • East Africa: Laboratory Quality Programs
    • Talkmore Maruta, ECSA-HC, Tanzania
  • Advancing the SLIPTA Programme
    • Fausta Mosha, WHO-AFRO, Zimbabwe
  • Closing Statements
    • Heather Alexander, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, United States
  •  Co-Conveners:
    • Nqobile Ndlovu
      • African Society for Laboratory Medicine, Zimbabwe
    • Sheick Oumar Coulibaly
      • World Health Organization-AFRO, Congo-Brazzaville
  •  Speakers
    • Anthony Emeribe
      • University of Calabar, Nigeria
    • Teferi Mekonen
      • African Society for Laboratory Medicine, Ethiopia
    • Talkmore Maruta
      • ECSA-HC, Tanzania
    • Fausta Mosha
      • WHO/AFRO, Zimbabwe
    • Heather Alexander
      • US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, United States