Seminar #12B

Building a Laboratory Community of Practice for Laboratory Strengthening Standards and Best Practice

Hosted by: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

No invitations necessary; open to all conference registrants

Sunday, 4 December
09:00 – 12:30
CTICC room location: 1.64

Lack of access to quality-assured viral load testing negatively affects over 6 million people taking antiretroviral treatment (ART) in sub-Saharan Africa. Currently, access to viral load depends on centralised laboratories, which are the backbone of testing across most levels of health care delivery in many countries. While substantial efforts have been made to build laboratories, buy equipment and reagents and train laboratory technicians over recent years, current public health laboratory networks continue to suffer from failure to deliver testing services routinely and effectively, resulting from instrument down times, stock outs, quality challenges, long turn-around times and lost test results.

These challenges are due to weak laboratory health systems which are necessary to support centralised laboratories and without which testing services cannot achieve the performance standards in terms of the speed and reliability of test result return and test quality necessary to support the scale-up of viral load testing and differentiated ART care. Best practices in laboratory systems exist in various settings to enable this, however they are not widely adopted.
The African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM), working with key partners and Ministries of Health will draw on existing standards to establish a widely accessible set of standards and associated best practices for optimised test delivery and systems strengthening of diagnostic testing services within integrated healthcare networks using HIV viral load and early infant diagnosis as a model to improve integrated care delivery.


  • Dr. Ali Elbireer, ASLM
  • Lara Vojnov, WHO
  • Eileen Burke, The Global Fund
  • Antoine Pierson, IQLS
  • Mamo Umuro (Kenya)
  • David Matema (Botswana)
  • Reuben Mwenda (Malawi)
  • Charles Kiyaga (Uganda)
  • Sergio Carmona (South Africa)
  • Pascale Ondoa, AIGHD