Spring 2015

APHL, the George Washington University (GWU) and regional partners are working together to strengthen the cadre of African public health laboratory leaders. In February, APHL and GWU sponsored the seventh International Institute for Public Health Laboratory Management at Stellenbosch University in Cape Town. The two-week program brought educational sessions, group activities and networking to 19 senior level laboratory professionals from 12 African countries: Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, South Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda and Zambia. The African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM) provided scholarships to bring members of the African Public Health Laboratory Network (APHLN) to the training.

The development of the APHLN, launched in 2013 with support from APHL, prompted Institute planners to focus this year’s Institute on the foundational elements of a public health laboratory network. What is the value of such a network? How does it differ from a clinical laboratory system? How should it be structured? And what is the role of members in supporting the operations of a public health laboratory network?

Through these discussions, participants formed relationships that will be critical to building testing capacity on the continent as the APHLN, the Global Health Security Agenda and other initiatives evolve.  For example, Kenya’s representative met his counterpart in the neighboring country of Uganda.

To continue such dialogs, APHL has created a Facebook group and group email, communication mechanisms that are familiar and accessible to Institute participants. In addition, the association is collaborating with ASLM to plan a meeting for APHLN members this summer. The meeting will expand upon topics considered at the Institute, including APHLN’s purpose, governance and membership.

For more information contact, Lucy Maryogo-Robinson, MPH Director of Global Health, 240.485.2770, lucy.robinson@aphl.org