Round Table #5

Creating Economically Viable Laboratory Capacity to Meet Health Needs in Africa – Including those of the Sustainable Development Goals

No invitations necessary; open to all conference registrants

Wednesday, 7 December 2016
CTICC room location: 1.6


The sustainable development goals represent a logical progression of the global commitment to further improvements in human welfare. The principle health related SDG (SDG 3) encompasses a set of health and wellbeing goals that, when applied together, should result in health system strengthening. The Ebola crises in West Africa and the incidence of various viral outbreaks in other parts of world are reflective of health threats related to globalization. These threats highlight the need for a pre-emptive set of interventions that would ensure global health protection. One of the key challenges faced by Lower and Middle Income Countries is the absence of diagnostic capacity and systems with which to capture baseline disease data and monitor progress; this problem is especially pertinent to the African region. How to develop the diagnostic services required to support broad scale health improvement from a baseline of fragmented and often poor quality services is an essential question to answer if African nations are to get maximal benefit from the SDGs and be able to contribute optimally to global health security. Key hurdles to the development of adequate laboratory and data collection systems in the Africa region are: poor existing infrastructure, low value placed on these services by populations and health system planners alike, poor visibility of these services at MoH and other government level, lack of in-country finances for investment, skewed priorities resulting from reliance on donor funding, and a lack of knowledge on the most appropriate models for developing cost-effective integrated laboratory services in the region. In this round table discussion we will discuss these elements with the aim of coming up with suggestions for the development of economically viable laboratory capacity to meet the health care needs of the African region.


  • Justine Davies, The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, United Kingdom
  • Philip Onyebujoh, World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa, Zimbabwe


  • Rachel Nugent, RTI International, United States
  • Miriam Schneidman, World Bank, United States
  • Alash’le Abimiku, Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria
  • Moses Alobo, GlaxoSmithKline, Kenya
  • Moses Joloba, Makerere University, Uganda