Letter from the ASLM CEO: Advocacy, Education and Collaboration

Letter from the CEO: May 2014

Advocacy, Education and Collaboration: Bolstering Laboratory Medicine on All Fronts

Dr. Tsehaynesh Messele, ASLM CEO

Here at the ASLM headquarters, we have been busy reinforcing our commitment to increasing the visibility and prospects of African medical laboratory professionals through advocacy, training, and collaborative activities with stakeholders. In February and March, ASLM co-coordinated two training workshops for laboratory professionals—an auditor certification training in the Stepwise Laboratory Quality Improvement Process Towards Accreditation (SLIPTA), and a Strengthening Laboratory Management Toward Accreditation (SLMTA) Training of Trainers course. On 28 March, in Johannesburg, South Africa, ASLM co-hosted the first of a series of successive diagnostics industry forums with the intention of creating stronger, more cooperative relationships between the diagnostics industry and policy makers. In April, at the 16th International Congress on Infectious Diseases in Cape Town, South Africa, ASLM Board Chair Dr. Trevor Peter presented on the importance of laboratory capacity building for disease control and health systems strengthening.

In addition to our advocacy, training and partnership-building activities, we have been mobilising for the ASLM2014 international conference (www.ASLM2014.org), finalising abstract submissions, registering sponsors and exhibitors, and promoting ASLM2014 activities including early-bird registration and the Travel Scholarship Programme. The conference, which is expected to convene 2,000 professionals around the theme “Innovation and Integration of Laboratory and Clinical Systems”, will serve as a platform to share best clinical and laboratory practices, acquire and exchange knowledge, and discuss ground-breaking novel approaches to tackling Africa’s major public health challenges.

As well as preparing for the ASLM2014 conference, our team has been committed to disseminating Society news via our ASLM e-news communications, website updates, social media pages, and this newsletter. Not only does this edition of Lab Culture elaborate on the activities mentioned above, but it also provides relevant and interesting stories on laboratory strengthening through accreditation, recent developments in the fight against drug-resistant malaria, and the current activities of ASLM’s partners. The Feature article, “Proficiency Testing: Diagnosing Threats to Quality,” available on page 11, covers the role and importance of proficiency testing in assuring quality laboratory services. I hope you enjoy issue 10 of Lab Culture, and thank you for reading.

Dr. Tsehaynesh Messele, CEO, ASLM

Originally published in the May 2014 issue of Lab Culture newsletter.