The African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM) is an independent, pan-African professional body that coordinates, galvanises and mobilises relevant stakeholders – local, national and international – so that together, we improve local access to world-class laboratory services and ensure healthy African communities now and for the long-term.
Laboratory services, networks and systems are indispensable to effective health systems. Medical laboratories play a pivotal role in global disease diagnosis, surveillance, outbreak investigation, initiation and monitoring of therapy, as well as research and development. Medical laboratories in Africa are unfortunately underdeveloped and cannot meet the testing demands of rapidly growing health delivery services in the 21st century. Inadequate resources and diagnostic services compromise the quality of patient care due to misdiagnosis and consequent under/over treatment of disease which presents significant economic and public health challenges.
Recognising the World Health Organization (WHO) Resolution AFR/RC58/R2 for strengthening public health laboratories in the African region and the 2008 Maputo Declaration on Strengthening of Laboratory Systems, ASLM addresses these challenges by working collaboratively with governments, local and international organisations, implementing partners, and the private sector to achieve the following goals by 2020:
- Strengthening laboratory workforce by training and certifying laboratory professionals and clinicians through standardised frameworks
- Transforming laboratory testing quality by enrolling laboratories in quality improvement programmes to achieve accreditation by international standards
- Developing strong, harmonised regulatory systems for diagnostic products as defined by the Global Harmonization Taskforce
- Building a network of national public health reference laboratories to improve early disease detection and collaborative research
Historical movement toward accreditation and improved laboratory systems has gained significant momentum in the past few years throughout Africa and amongst the international community. Through the ASLM2020 strategic vision, ASLM aims to maintain such momentum.
ASLM is headquartered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and serves all African countries. It is endorsed by the African Union.