ASLM Launches the Laboratory Directors’ Forum to Transform Laboratory Best Practice in Africa

13 September 2022, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  The African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM) is pleased to announce the virtual launch of the Laboratory Directors’ Forum (LabDF) in partnership with the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC). LabDF provides a peer-to-peer environment to bring together African leaders in laboratory services from 55 African Union Member States. The forum will provide space and infrastructure for laboratory leaders to develop a unified voice to shape agendas, define priorities, and harness individual countries’ strengths, capabilities and successes to further build laboratory capacity on the continent.

‘We are excited by the opportunity to share our knowledge and help colleagues in other African nations make the best decisions on diagnostics and laboratory services to clinical care, public health and emergency response in their countries,’ said Dr. Susan N. Nabadda, the Head of Laboratory Services at the National Health Laboratories  / Central Public Health Laboratories, Ministry of Health in Uganda.

LabDF is being launched to form a basis for networking between African laboratory leaders. The forum will allow participants to be able to stay abreast of major changes in laboratory and diagnostics services, such as community testing, task shifting, or local production of diagnostics.

‘It is important to link laboratory directors across the continent in real time, allowing them to engage with each other instantly on critical issues,’ said Mr Nqobile Ndlovu, ASLM’s Chief Executive Officer. ‘This will enable a clear understanding about needs and priorities as defined by countries themselves. More importantly, perhaps, it will also provide a strong, collective voice to advocate for mitigation of relevant gaps and challenges, as laboratory directors form the core of stakeholders that should drive policy innovation and implementation to support the future of laboratory services and the African Union’s ‘Africa We Want: Agenda 2063’.

ASLM will support expression of that collective voice by providing opportunities for participants to connect forum participants to funders, regulatory agencies and industry to help implement identified needs and priorities. In addition, ASLM will facilitate the flow of evidence and information that comes out of LabDF into formal publications, such as in ASLM’s peer-reviewed journal, the African Journal of Laboratory Medicine, or through ASLM-endorsed summaries and recommendations.

‘This is a timely initiative and is in line with ensuring a safe and secure Africa. The networking of senior government leaders in laboratory services will enhance the realization of Africa’s New Public Health Order,’ said Dr Ahmed Ogwell Ouma, Acting Director for Africa CDC. ‘Dealing with global health challenges and mitigating their impact can be a reality where there is a collective effort to use evidence-informed and effective interventions.’

For more information on joining the LabDF, please contact Mah-Sere Keita, ASLM Director of Programs, at: