Seminar #46

ForLab and LabEquip: Two essential tools for scaling up viral load testing

USAID Global Health Supply Chain Program

No invitations necessary; open to all conference registrants

Wednesday 7 December
19:00 – 20:30
CTICC room location: 2.6


Lab systems developers, buyers and suppliers of lab commodities, donors, others with a stake in lab supply chains and laboratory networks.


As viral load programs aim to scale up to meet 90-90-90 targets, two open source software packages will be key to providing a smooth, well-managed, and well-designed transition from CD4 and optimizing the laboratory network for viral load testing.  Effective use of these tools will help produce strategic analysis and inform budgeting to be used for securing sufficient funding from donors.  The first tool, ForLab, has been widely used as a quantification tool used to develop multi-method forecast of laboratory commodities in support of national quantifications; identification of program and funding gaps; estimation of program scale up; rational instrument deployments, as well as measuring diversity and utilization of instruments; this seminar will introduce V2 and highlight additional functionality to allow ForLab to better serve programmatic shifts in HIV programs. The second tool, LabEQIP, is an easy-to-use, platform that can act as a data repository for information relevant to laboratory network performance.  It links relevant data from ForLab and other sources and provides users with the ability to visualize the laboratories and sample referral systems through maps, charts, and other info-graphics. With LabEQIP, users gain visibility into performance and resources over time to assess the impact of various interventions, as well as optimizing referral networks. This session’s speakers—with extensive laboratory experience and with using the tools across sub-Saharan Africa—will introduce ForLab Version 2 and LabEQIP, demonstrate how the tools have been used, and explain how programs can use them for greatest impact.


As a result of their attendance, participants will be able to:

  • Understanding of ForLab capabilities and advantages
  • Know how to access the new versions of ForLab and LabEQIP to plan for rapid scale up of viral load programs and transition from CD4 programming.
  • Understand the revisions that have been made for ForLab
  • Data template similarities and requirements between ForLab and LabEQIP
  • How to leverage GIS data and ForLab data to inform instrument deployments and sample referral optimization strategies


Shadrack Were, MS, USAID Global Health Supply Chain Program – Procurement and Supply Management, Laboratory Manager
As Laboratory Manager for the USAID Global Health Supply Chain – Procurement and Supply Management, Shadrack Were provides technical assistance to country office staff and governments, and other country stakeholders in the project’s laboratory-related activities, including forecasting and quantification, local procurement of commodities, and product selection. With more than 24 years working in global and clinical laboratory management, Mr. Were has supported the implementation of PEPFAR-supported laboratory programs in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. He has conducted HIV laboratory training in East African countries and has implemented quality management systems in the West African countries of Benin, Serra Leone, and Togo. He has Master of Science in Laboratory Management from the University of Maryland.

Neelima P. Ramaraju, Llamasoft, Inc., Director of Global Impact Team
Neelima P. Ramaraju is the Director of Global Impact Team at LLamasoft, Inc., a global leader in supply chain design software and services. In this role, she works closely with public and private partner organizations, such as USAID, John Snow, Inc., The World Bank, the World Health Organization, applying supply chain best practices to global development. She has been involved in projects in Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Haiti, amongst others, focused on restructuring public health supply chains to improve customer service and reduce costs. She has overseen several commercial and NGO supply chain design projects, and has helped many organizations better-understand and improve their supply chains. In addition to the work in global development, she works on developing LLamasoft’s supply chain risk and resiliency strategy. Prior to her time at LLamasoft, Neelima worked as a healthcare consultant with a focus on managed care payment review for domestic hospital and hospital systems. She has a BS in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and an MBA and MS in Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan.

Zelalem Gizachew, Opian Health Information Technology Solutions, CEO
Zelalem Gizachew is a founder and CEO of Opian Health Information Technology Solutions, which specialized in innovative health care information technology solutions based in Addis Abeba Ethiopia. Prior to this Zelalem has been working for Clinton Health Access Initiatives as a program manager for mHealth,  leading the design, development and implementation of mobile-based technology solutions for health service delivery.  Zelalem Gizachew is a Medical Laboratory Technologies and Computer Programmer, having graduated from Addis Ababa University and HiLCoE School of Computer Science and in Medical Laboratory Technology and Computer Science, specializing in Health Information Technology Systems. Zelalem worked for various health facilities and institution as a Medical laboratory technologist and as an advisor on development and adoptions of health information management systems for the past 10 years.