WHO WE ARE
The East Africa Public Health Laboratory Network is a project bringing together the public health laboratories of East Africa by building capacity and giving regional focus to realize better health for its citizens. The objective of the East Africa Public Health Laboratory Networking Project is to establish a network of efficient, high quality, accessible public health laboratories for the diagnosis and surveillance of Tuberculosis (TB), and other communicable diseases.
WHAT WE DO
The project has three components
Regional diagnostic and surveillance capacity.The component will provide targeted support to create and render functional the regional laboratory network. Uganda, working in close collaboration with East, Central, and Southern Africa
Health Community (ECSAHC), leads the establishment of the network.
Training and capacity building. The project will support training in a range of institutions in the five countries and across the region. Tanzania is providing leadership in this area and establishes a regional training hub.
Joint operational research, knowledge sharing and regional coordination, and program management.
Building on its relatively strong Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response system (IDSR) Kenya will serve as a centre of excellence in disease surveillance and operational research. Rwanda proposed to take a regional lead in expanding use of ICT and promoting Performance Based Financing (PBF) approaches for lab services, building on its well recognized successes in these areas. It will share its tools like standards and guidelines, reporting forms, request for proposals; provide related training, capacity building, and technical support as well as organize site visits; take a lead in determining the applicability of the PBF approach to public health laboratories and document and share lessons.
While strengthening the national health systems remains the priority, considering the overall vulnerability of East Africa region for the rapid spread of communicable diseases due to porous borders and mobility of populations across the countries, there is need for a more collective regional action that ensures use of harmonized protocols and capacity building, timely sharing of high quality information and well coordinated cross country response. Poor access to reliable diagnostic testing facilities results in delay in responding to outbreaks and inadequate management of patients, has prompted the urgent need to improve disease surveillance due to ongoing threat of outbreaks and new global pandemics. The lab project therefore aims to strengthen capacities for diagnosis and surveillance of Tuberculosis and other communicable Diseases by establishing a network of efficient, high quality and accessible public health laboratories and by promoting innovation and knowledge sharing.