The African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM) in collaboration with the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and the Global Health Security Team at the United States (US) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Ethiopia office are supporting capacity building of 15 regional veterinary diagnostic laboratories, in line with the One Health strategy. Following an awareness creation meeting and laboratory quality management system (LQMS) training, ASLM conducted the first ever SLIPTA auditor training for veterinary laboratory staff from 12-16 August 2019 in Adama, Ethiopia. Fifteen participants (one from the MoA and 14 from different regional veterinary diagnostic laboratories) attended the training workshop. In addition to standardized training materials, ISO 171025:2017 standards were used as applicable requirements for accreditation and an overview of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) was provided. A mock audit was conducted in a veterinary laboratory setup and participants visited the Adama Regional Public Health Laboratory for experience-sharing purposes. Participants gained knowledge and understanding required to implement the role of veterinary laboratories as set out in the Ethiopian National One Health Strategic Plan.

Dr Yismashewa Wogayehu, Director of the Epidemiology Directorate at the MoA, pointed out that ASLM’s support plays a key role in advancing and improving veterinary diagnostic laboratories in Ethiopia. ‘Veterinary laboratories have gained confidence and are actively participating in the National One Health Strategy Plan,’ he said.

Theresa Kanter, Deputy Director of GHSA, CDC-Ethiopia, added that the MoA should use this opportunity to establish a central mechanism to provide leadership and coordination to sustain the momentum of the QMS implementation throughout the country. Mrs Mah-Sere Keita, Director of Programs at ASLM, addressed participants, saying, “It is important that laboratory strengthening approaches in countries follow the One Health concept. Quality-assured diagnostics should be made available in the human, animal and environmental health sectors. ASLM is helping to bridge this gap.’

ASLM is prepared to provide all the required technical advice and support to any country to build their veterinary laboratory capacity and intensify their role in the One Health strategy.

Author: Teferi Mekonen

Editor: Mrs Bethanie Rammer

About ASLM

Established in 2011, the African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM) is a pan-African professional body focused on improving healthcare by strengthening all aspects of laboratories including workforce strengthening, quality improvement and accreditation, harmonization of regulations, strengthening of networks, and strengthening advocacy and communications. Laboratory testing is pivotal for disease diagnosis, epidemiological surveillance, outbreak investigation, and initiation and monitoring of treatment, as well as research and development. ASLM addresses these challenges by working collaboratively with governments; national, regional and international organizations; implementing partners, the private sector and other agencies to achieve its Strategic Vision goals. ASLM is endorsed by the African Union with support from the World Health Organization, Africa CDC, the US CDC, the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the World Bank, the Clinton Foundation, UNAIDS, and others.

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