Leveraging and Sustaining Networks for Disease Response in Africa

Date: Tuesday, 11 December 2018
Time: 17:00 – 18:30
Location: Congress Hall

Session Overview:
An efficient national public health laboratory network (NPHLN) is required for the successful detection, characterization and tracing of disease transmission. An NPHLN that is well-integrated with surveillance systems is essential to robust detection and response to public health threats. While efforts have been made in this direction in Africa, more is required to ensure that well-linked laboratory and surveillance networks are established and/or sustained and sufficiently capacitated to respond to ongoing and emerging threats.

The NPHLN provides the data needed for the timely confirmation of suspected pathogens during outbreaks. The data allow for evidence-based investigations and development of appropriate control interventions. Efficient NPHLNs are capable of collecting, analysing, and reporting data towards public health action; establishing appropriate, accurate, timely and sustainable diagnostic practice; and linking public health diagnostics with national and regional surveillance systems. A functional NPHLN is composed of laboratories at each level of the pyramidal health system able to properly diagnose priority infectious diseases for public health decision making.

This session seeks to examine ways in which multiple stakeholders are networking laboratories and/or sustaining laboratory networks to enable better disease response in Africa.

  • Sample Referral and Transport Systems – Encouraging Access
    • Kameko Nichols, The Nichols Group
  • Safely Detecting the Next Threat: The Role of Laboratory Networks
    • Lucy Maryogo-Robinson, Association of Public Health Laboratories
  • Empowering a Mobile Laboratory to Accomplish Disease Surveillance and Routine Diagnostic Mission
    • Jean Ndjomou, MRI Global
  • Laboratory Network for Improved Disease Response in Cameroon
    • Judith Shang, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cameroon
  • Co-Conveners:
    • Merawi Aragaw
      • Medical Epidemiologist, Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Ethiopia
    • Mah-Sere Keita
      • African Society for Laboratory Medicine, Mali
  • Speakers
    • Kameko Nichols
      • The Nichols Group, United States
    • Lucy Maryogo-Robinson
      • Association of Public Health Laboratories, United States
    • Jean Ndjomou
      • MRI Global, United States
    • Judith Shang
      • US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cameroon