- Improve functionality of national and regional laboratory networks by mutualising existing resources
- Increase diagnostic testing capacity and surveillance coverage of laboratory networks
- Prepare for and respond to disease outbreaks
Laboratory Mapping Program (LabMaP)
Why Laboratory Mapping?
Providing Tools for Mapping Laboratory Capacity
Mapping Building Blocks: For Lab Managers, Planners and Policy Makers
Manage, update, share and
visualize the data. Public portals
Report data and simulate
optimized laboratory networks. Public Dashboard
Who Should Join?
Join the Mapping Program to Access
Template forms make data collection as easy as possible and are supported on many widely used mobile devices. Current forms include a SLIPTA checklist and Laboratory Capacity Assessment Checklist.
Once data are available or collected, ASLM also provides a laboratory registry to manage, update, share and visualise the data including registry designer and administrative functionality, public portals for sharing data APIs, and much, much more.
Planwise is open-source software that helps planners determine the most impactful location to add a new service, complete a training, or purchase equipment. Planwise was developed using industry best practices in geospatial modeling and optimisation.
Frequently Asked Questions
ASLM’s Lab Mapping Project (LabMaP) aims to establish a system for the collection, storage and analysis of GIS-linked data on laboratory capacity, systems and networks in Africa. The project is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and contributes to achieve key objectives under the laboratory network pillar of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention(Africa CDC). Technical assistance for the development of the information technology component was provide by inSTEDD http://www.instedd.org. LabMaP provides a solution to countries that are ready to inventory geo-located information on their laboratory systems, in support of evidence-based decision making.
An initial version of the system was developed and piloted in Ethiopia, in partnership with the Ethiopian Public Health Institute, and in Niger, in partnership with the Ministry of Health of Niger and Fondation Mérieux, to demonstrate proof of the concept that:
- Comprehensive data on laboratory capacity can be collected and updated easily through local, country-owned systems.
- Such a system helps to support decision making for optimisation of networks for particular purposes, e.g., optimised coverage for meningitis confirmation, optimised capacity for antimicrobial resistance testing.
LabMaP data can be used for a variety of planning and general question purposes. Below are a few examples:
- Obtain an quick overview of gaps between standards for laboratory service delivery and a current situation.
- Inform the development of diagnostic services with optimal geographic and population coverage and maximize the impact of clinical and public health outcomes.
- Inform the optimisation of regional laboratory networks and systems, e.g., a cross-border sample referral system as part of disease surveillance and preparedness for outbreak response.
LabMaP collects a wide range of data related to laboratory systems and services. Major categories include, but are not limited to:
- Laboratory profile information (level of service delivery, human or animal health, etc.)
- GPS coordinates
- Testing capacity across essential diseases
- Infrastructure, equipment and supply chain
- Quality Management System
- Linkages to surveillance of testing networks
- Biosafety and Biosecurity
Collection occurs through an electronic interface allowing the data to be uploaded to a central database for curation, subsequent sharing and analysis. Data collection can be done offline or on any Android device. Data collection usually commences with data from high-level laboratories, with support from ASLM. In the second phase, data collection is progressively expanded to lower-level laboratories through country-owned, locally organized procedures.
Access to the data is formalized through a data-sharing agreement between countries and ASLM. Complete datasets can be accessed by ASLM and Africa CDC. Each country has full access to its own dataset with the possibility of linkage to their own health data management system, such as the District Health Information System, version 2 (DIHS-2). Stakeholders and health organisations may access data upon request. All requests should be made to ASLM where they are subject to review and approval from all respective countries.
Only general, non-sensitive data are shared, after Ministry of Health approval, through public ASLM portals.
To date, Niger, Ethiopia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Congo-Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic (CAR), Gabon, Chad, and Sao Tome and Principe have joined LabMaP with support from ASLM and Africa CDC.
ASLM’s role in the laboratory mapping program is to propose solutions for the standardized collection, storage and analysis of geo-located data on laboratory capacity, and to support the establishment of public and country portals in accordance with national requirements for data sharing. LabMaP is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and technical development provided by InSTEDD.
Questions? Feel free to email us.