Advancing Laboratory Quality Management Systems in Africa: Regional and National Activities

ASLM continues to advance laboratory quality management systems (LQMS) in Africa through regional approaches and collaboration with various stakeholders and partners, such as the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and ministries of health (MoH). LQMS is key to strengthening national laboratory systems to support the detection, surveillance, and response to disease outbreaks and emergencies of public health concern. A top priority of ASLM is to ensure effective and efficient LQMS implementation at all tiers of national laboratory networks, to ensure positive clinical and public health outcomes.

Delegates at the LQMS Training in Port-Louis, Mauritius

Recently, ASLM participated in the update of Africa CDC’s LQMS training curriculum and, in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the WHO/Mauritius Country Office, organised an LQMS training workshop in Port-Louis, Mauritius, from 28 November to 2 December 2022. 

Twenty-six Mauritian laboratory professionals participated in the workshop as trainees, and four additional participants (Mr Parmanand Lallchand, Mr Vikram Dookna, Mr Jayesh Ittoo, and Mr Chitanand Appanah) acted as facilitators to enhance their training skills and build confidence in facilitating the modules for the national training rollout plan.

The workshop involved group exercises, discussions, and experience sharing to promote a better understanding of how to implement QMS in the laboratories.

L-R: Dr Abha Jodheea-Jutton (WHO-Mauritius), Mr Teferi Mekonen (ASLM), Dr Vishwas Teelucksingh Mohabeer (MoH), Mrs Esther Tsheola (consultant facilitator), Dr Samba (ASLM) and Dr Bhujun Kissnowtee (Central Reference Laboratory)

In his opening remarks, Dr Vishwas Teelucksingh Mohabeer, Director of Health Services, Ministry of Health, Mauritius, said, ‘the strategic position of the medical laboratory in the healthcare system requires increasing capacity, training personnel and modernising the laboratory services using QMS training and implementation.’ Dr Abha Jodheea-Jutton, Public Health Officer, WHO-Mauritius Office, added, ‘QMS and accreditation are important in reducing laboratory errors. The knowledge and skill gained after the training will equip staff on how to implement the QMS and meet the requirements of the international quality standards across the country.’

The Mauritius MoH and the WHO intend to collaborate and provide all the required support for the LQMS implementation in Mauritius, as their main goal is to enable all laboratories to achieve accreditation. 

From 5 – 9 December 2022, ASLM QMS expert, Mr Teferi Mekonen, attended the Africa CDC workshop in Johannesburg, South Africa. The workshop aimed at reviewing and consolidating the LQMS training curriculum for human and animal health laboratory professional training using the One Health approach, which was developed in 2021 in Lusaka, Zambia, and piloted in Southern Africa (Zambia), West Africa (Ghana), East Africa (Kenya) and Central Africa (Democratic Republic of the Congo).

Delegates at the LQMS Workshop in Johannesburg, South Africa

Five other technical experts on QMS from the animal and human health sectors in eSwatini, Namibia, Uganda, and Zambia provided their vast expertise during the workshop.

The final training curriculum is articulated around 19 modules, covers human and animal health laboratory requirements, and is based on the ISO 15189:2012 and ISO/IEC 17025:2017 standards and the LQMS Training Handbook developed in 2011 by the WHO, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute.


The curriculum will be posted on the Africa CDC website to help standardise LQMS training in the region. Mr Donewell Bangure from Africa CDC said, ‘Africa CDC will provide financial support to member states if they plan to conduct the step-down trainings in their country.’

Participants review and edit training materials at the LQMS Workshop in Johannesburg, South Africa

Regional, national, and facility engagement are all required to ensure the meaningful and sustainable advancement of laboratory quality. If the targets of universal healthcare and international regulation are to be achieved, all laboratory testing should be adequately quality-assured. ASLM will continue its collaboration with key regional stakeholders to advance LQMS in Africa through the implementation of the National Laboratory Quality Framework (NLQF), the Stepwise Laboratory Quality Improvement Process Towards Accreditation (SLIPTA), and the Strengthening Laboratory Management Toward Accreditation (SLMTA), among other initiatives.