In the health delivery system, the laboratory provides diagnostics and plays an important role in disease control, patient care and disease surveillance. However, laboratory services are usually a neglected aspect in most health delivery systems in poor and developing countries.
Common challenges include:
• Weak supply chain management systems
• Lack of public health laboratories to address outbreaks
• Financing and allocation of resources to laboratories by Ministries of Health
• Occupational health and safety issues poorly addressed. Most labs fail to meet safety standards; one of the reasons they fail accreditation.
• Skilled staff shortage and inadequately equipped training institutions
Led by Violet Chaka, head medical technologist at the Namibia Institute of Pathology, we invite you to join us and the following panelists as we discuss lessons learned and share solutions, from Monday, February 25, to Friday, March 1:
• Leonard Bikinesi (MD), a physician at the Namibia Institute of Pathology hospital
• Fabian Mashingaidze (MD), a Provincial Medical Officer in Zimbabwe
• Grigory Volchenkov, MD, a specialist in TB control on regional level and TB infection control and Head Doctor at Vladimir Oblast Tuberculosis Dispensary.
We hope to brainstorm and answer the following questions:
1. How can we improve access and availability to quality diagnostics for all? What role should rapid diagnostics tests play?
2. What are the major challenges in your country/settings? How can we strengthen existing laboratory systems and improve safety?
3. What is the impact of poor quality laboratory services on public health?
4. Are our training institutions adequately equipping future medical personnel to provide quality diagnostic services?
Feel free to introduce yourself and your work, and posts comments and questions starting today. Panelists will respond starting February 25.