Advancing the Laboratory Profession and Networks in Africa
Dr. Pascale Ondoa
Director of Science and New Initiatives
Director of Global Health Security
Dr. Amha Kebede
Program Manager – SLIPTA
Dr. Aytenew Ashenafi
Dr. Abdoulaye Nikiéma
Program Manager – AMR
Program Coordinator GHSA
Program Coordinator GHSA
Program Coordinator GHSA
Mrs. Nachilembo Lutinala
Laboratory Strengthening Advisor
Ms. Bethanie Rammer
IT and Web Specialist
Dr. Ali Elbireer
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Dr. Elbireer is the Chief Executive Officer of ASLM. Before joining ASLM in November 2016, he was a faculty member of Johns Hopkins University (JHU) School of Medicine, Baltimore in the United States. He worked in East Africa for over a decade as the Country Director for a JHU non-governmental organization in Uganda. He was the Laboratory Administrative Director for Makerere University-JHU at the Infectious Diseases Institute (MU-JHU/IDI) in Kampala, Uganda. He was also the Chairman of the American Society for Clinical Pathologist (ASCP) Advisory Board of Certification in Uganda. In 2003, MU-JHU/IDI Core Laboratory was the first medical laboratory in East Africa to be accredited by the College of American Pathologist (CAP). Under Dr. Elbireer’s leadership the MU-JHU/IDI Core Laboratory was selected in 2008 and 2010 by the “Medical Laboratory Observer” magazine as Laboratory of the Year (second & first runner-up, respectively). This was the first international laboratory to be selected for this honor. In December 2012, his laboratory was also selected by ASLM as one of the “Best Practice Laboratories in Africa”.
Dr. Elbireer holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree and a doctoral degree in healthcare administration (PhD). He brings a strong history of leadership, having held positions in several healthcare establishments, including medical laboratories, research facilities, centers of excellence, and hospitals in the United States and Africa. He is a dedicated advocate for laboratory systems strengthening. He has published several manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals on clinical laboratory science and the quality of laboratory services in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Dr. Pascale Ondoa joined ASLM in December 2016 as its Director of Science and New Initiatives. Dr. Ondoa worked in academic research at the Institute of Tropical Medicine from 2002 to 2009. Between 2010 and 2016, she served as a senior scientist at the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development (AIGHD), University of Amsterdam. Her work covered the research and implementation aspects of various projects looking at HIV drug resistance in sub-Saharan Africa, exploring ways to mitigate barriers to laboratory test uptake, and addressing gaps in laboratory systems resources in African countries. Dr. Ondoa holds a medical degree (MD) from the University of Yaoundé, Cameroon, and a doctoral degree (PhD) in Biomedical Sciences (Virology) from the University of Antwerp. She brings her enthusiasm for international collaboration and her passion for building capacity on the African continent.
Ms. Mah-Sere Keita serves as the Director of Global Health Security for ASLM. She is a public health professional with 15+ years of experience managing global health programs, particularly in the fields of public health workforce development and improving the diagnosis of infectious diseases in low-resource settings. She has previously held leadership positions at the Catholic Relief Services-Mali, American Society for Microbiology (ASM), and Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH). Ms. Keita holds a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree with a focus on infectious disease epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in pre-medicine biology from Boston College.
Mr. Nqobile Ndlovu serves as an ASLM Acting Chief Executive Office. Before joining ASLM, Mr. Ndlovu served as the Laboratory Project Coordinator for the African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET) in Kampala, Uganda, where he implemented laboratory programs. He also served as Assistant Field Coordinator for the Master in Public Health training program at the University of Zimbabwe. Mr. Ndlovu holds a bachelor’s degree in medical laboratory sciences and a master’s degree in public health from the University of Zimbabwe.
Mr. Teferi Mekonen serves as a Program Manager for the Stepwise Laboratory Quality Improvement Process Towards Accreditation program. He previously served as the Laboratory Project Coordinator for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-Ethiopia and as the Laboratory Strengthening Program Director for International Clinical Laboratories. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Asmara University, Eritrea, a master’s degree in microbiology from Addis Ababa University, and a master’s degree in public health from Mekelle University, Ethiopia.
Dr. Aytenew Ashenafi joined ASLM in April 2017 as a Program Manager. Before joining ASLM, he had years of experience as a Regional Laboratory Operations Director and Project Advisor for OeEB (Oesterreichische Entwicklungsbank, Development Bank of Austria) and International Clinical Laboratories in Ethiopia. He as a Laboratory Scientist and Laboratory Technical Advisor for Clinton Health Access Initiative and a Laboratory Program Lead at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) PEPFAR-Ethiopia global program. He is also an Associate Professor at Addis Ababa University for the post graduate program. He holds a doctoral degree (PhD) in health sciences, a Master of Public Health in Monitoring & Evaluation, and a Master of Science in Medical Biochemistry and Physiology.
Dr. Amha Kebede joined ASLM in March 2017 as a Program Manager. He is a biomedical researcher dedicated to the advancement of public health in Ethiopia. His career includes 25 years at the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI), where, apart from being a full time researcher, he held leadership positions as Head, Infectious & Other Diseases Research Dept (2005-2006) and Deputy Director General for Research & Technology Transfer (2006 -2011). He was also the Director General for EPHI from 2011 to 2017. He received his PhD in Biomedical Science in 2005 from Addis Ababa University & Leiden University, the Netherlands. He holds a Master of Science degree (MSc) in Molecular Biology from Belgium, Free University of Brussels. He has published over 72 scientific articles in a reputable peer reviewed international and local journals and presented his findings in a number of international and national scientific forums. He brings expertise in project management at the national and international level, infectious disease, evidence-based policy, program evaluation, and capacity building.
Dr. Abdoulaye Nikiéma joined ASLM as a Program Manager. He previously served as the National Health Laboratory Services Department Director and the West-African Laboratory Network project coordinator in Burkina Faso. He has a professional doctoral degree in pharmacy, a specialist diploma in laboratory medicine (French “Diplôme d’Etudes Spécialisées”) and a master’s degree in microbiology from the University of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. He comes to ASLM with fifteen years of experience in laboratory systems and quality management.
Mr. Edwin Shumba joined ASLM in January 2019 as the AMR Program Manager. Before joining ASLM, Mr. Shumba worked as a Consultant for ASLM and ACCEL in Liberia providing mentorship to African laboratories seeking ISO 15189 accreditation. He also served as Laboratory Manager for the Eaden Medical Laboratories International in Zimbabwe. Mr. Shumba holds a bachelor’s degree in medical laboratory sciences from the University of Zimbabwe and a Master of Business Intelligence degree from Chinhoyi University of Technology in Zimbabwe.
Mr. Obert Kachuwaire serves as the ASLM Focal Person for all tuberculosis activities that ASLM is currently implementing through the CDC PEPFAR Cooperative Agreement. He is also a part of the Secretariat for the Global Laboratory Initiative for Africa (GLI Africa), a regional partnership aimed at strengthening tuberculosis diagnostic networks in Africa. He brings experience in laboratory capacity building in Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, South Africa, Swaziland, Uganda, Benin, Nigeria, Peru and Zambia with various organizations, including Partners in Health, KNCV TB Foundation, MSF, CIDRZ and MRCSA.
Program Manager – Rapid Test Quality Improvement Initiative
Dr. Samba Diallo joined ASLM in December 2016 as the Regional Coordinator for the Rapid Test Quality Improvement Initiative. Before joining ASLM, he worked as the Head of the Technical Support Unit and a Quality Manager at the General Directorate of Pharmacy, Medicines and Laboratory in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Dr. Diallo has also worked as a project officer, laboratory quality management system mentor, an ASLM-certified auditor, an IRCA-certified auditor (QMS 9001:2008), lecturer, haemobiologist and physician. He holds a Medical Degree (MD) from Burkina Faso. He also earned a degree in blood transfusion technology and a master’s degree in health system engineering in France.
Dr Legese A. Mekuria, MPH, MSc, PhD, holds a BSc degree in Public Health from Haremaya (formerly Alemaya) University and a MPH degree from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia. He did a MSc degree in Epidemiology at The Netherlands Institute for Health Sciences (NIHES) and a PhD at the Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Dr Legese has worked in governmental and non-governmental organizations at various capacities, including as a Clinician, a Program Officer, a Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor, and as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development (AIGHD). Dr Legese’s interest includes Epidemiological research and program management in the area of HIV/AIDS, Health Systems, Public/Global Health, Reproductive Health, Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), Primary Care, and Disease Surveillance. Currently, he serves as a Program Manager at the African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM).
Program Coordinator for Global Health Security agenda – Influenza
Ms. Koudedia Konate serves as the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) Influenza Program Coordinator. She helps support the laboratory system strengthening for influenza and other infectious diseases in Africa as components of the GHSA. She is a graduate in International Law (LL.M), and also holds a bachelor’s degree in political science with a focus in international relations. Ms. Konate is very committed and passionate about international cooperation and development in Africa. She is willing to apply her skills and experiences in cooperation and capacity building to all areas of laboratory medicine.
Program Coordinator for Global Health Security Agenda
Mr. Aliou Moctar joined ASLM in 2016 as a Program Coordinator for the Global Health Security Agenda program for Burkina Faso and Cameroon. Aliou helps support ASLM with procurement. From 2015 to 2016, he was Head of Mission and an expert advisor to the Minister at the Ministry of Investment Promotion and Private Sector of Mali. Prior to that, he worked at Shaw Directs satellite as a Corporate Commercial Coordinator in Canada. He is a graduate in Science in Management from the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM) and also holds a bachelor’s degree in management information technology from the University of Manitoba in Canada.
Mr Yann is the GHSA Program Coordinator for Cameroon. He acts as primary representative of ASLM in Cameroon. He focuses on defining, monitoring activities and also connecting partners and consultants.
Holder of two masters (Political Science and Political African Studies) from Paris 1 University – Sorbonne, Yann has held positions of project coordinator in international solidarity organizations in France and Burkina Faso. He wants to use his professional experience to strengthen the laboratory system in Africa within ASLM
Ms. Ruth Girma joined ASLM in August 2013. Before taking the role of Grants Officer, she served as the Program Coordinator and Senior Administrative Assistant for the organization. Prior to joining ASLM, she was the Program Officer for John Snow Inc., a USAID Deliver Project in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, as well as a conference organiser for Courtesy Associates and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. Ms. Girma has a degree in Business Administration and Information Systems from Addis Ababa University, a Licence en Administration des Entreprises from the Université de Poitiers, France and is currently pursuing her Master of Business Administration degree at Jimma University.
Ms. Rediet Argaw serves as an Administrative Assistant. Before joining ASLM, Ms. Rediet worked as an administrative assistant at Ava Tours and as an assistant to the Ambassador of the Central African Republic in Ethiopia. She hold a degree in business administration and information systems from Addis Ababa University School of Commerce.
Ms. Tigist Terefe serves as a Human Resources Assistant at ASLM (LonAdd Consultancy Plc). She previously served as a Human Resources Assistant for Info Mind Solution/Ethiojobs, a human resources consultancy firm that specializes in providing exclusive human resources services for organizations in Ethiopia and parts of East Africa. She has over four years of experience in the human resource industry and has had the opportunity to assist many international non-governmental organizations while at Ethiojobs. She holds a Diploma in Reception and Management as well as in Human Resource Management. She brings knowledge of Ethiopian labor law, as well as international human resources ethical conduct, and a willingness to learn along the way to the ASLM team.
As the Laboratory Strengthening Advisor with the USAID Eradicate TB, Nachilembo L. Mulenga is responsible for leading activities to strengthen TB Laboratory Services in Public Health Laboratories in Zambia. She helps to improve the technical and organizational capacity in the provision of TB Laboratory Services by introduction of new TB Diagnostic tools/Laboratory Infrastructure, TB Commodity Management and Quality Improvement.
she is a TB Laboratory expert with more than 15 years of private and public sector experience. She holds a BSc. in Biomedical Sciences and an MSc in Public Health
Mr. Elias Kassa joined ASLM as a Liaison Officer since August, 2017 (LonAdd Consultancy Plc). Prior to joining ASLM, he worked as a driver and tour operator at Adika Taxi Service PLC and as a sales associate/driver. He has also a good work experience in video editing/production. Mr. Elias holds a diploma and certificates in film production, electricity and auto mechanics.
Ms. Bethanie Rammer joined ASLM in 2014 and serves as the Managing Editor for the African Journal of Laboratory Medicine, the Editor for Lab Culture, and the Communications point person. She spent over 10 years at Vanderbilt University in the United States editing papers and grant proposals on the genetic/molecular epidemiology of cancer and other chronic diseases for non-native English speakers and managing a Fogarty International Center training program. Prior to that she worked at the Wyoming Institute for Disabilities at the University of Wyoming where she managed a human resources database and its monthly newsletter. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Linguistics and German from the University of New Hampshire and certificates in scientific editing and writing from the American Medical Writers Association. She brings expertise in writing and editing, publishing, and publication ethics to ASLM.
Mr. Fitsum Abebe joined ASLM in April 2017 as an Information Technology and Web Specialist. He previously served as the Management Information Systems Director for International Clinical Laboratories. Mr. Abebe holds a degree in management information services from Unity University, Ethiopia. He brings both information technology and laboratory information systems expertise to ASLM.
Mr. Mikias Gebralu joined ASLM in April 2017 as a Web Developer. He has over five years of experience in website and web application development at several companies. His experience is enhanced by a bachelor’s degree in information systems from Addis Ababa University and in computer science from the HiLCoE School of Computer Science and Technology.
Mr. Tazezew Abrha Joined ASLM as a senior accountant since April 2017 (Grant Thornton Advisory Plc). He holds Bachelor degree in Finance & Development Economic from Addis Ababa University, Bachelor degree in Accounting form Alpha University Collage and Diploma in accounting from Mekelle University. Prior to ASLM he was working for Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia (FGAE) as a senior Finance officer from August 2014 to March 2017. He also worked for Ethiopian Orthodox Church child & Family affaires organization (EOC-CFAO) as accounts head, Financial and system analysis and accountant from 2005 to 2012.
Mrs. Netsanet joined ASLM as a Finance Manager since April, 2017 (Grant Thornton Advisory Plc). She holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance from Addis Ababa University and ACCA Membership certificate from United Kingdom (UK). Prior to ASLM she was working in ChildFund Ethiopia, an International NGO for about 7 Yrs, in different position. Netsanet has also worked as a Senior External Auditor for A.W Thomas Chartered Certified Audit Firm.
Miss Aynalem Joined ASLM as a senior Accountant since September 2017 (Grant Thornton Advisory Plc). She holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance from Rift valley university Prior to ASLM she was working in Christian Children Fund of Canada, and also she has 8 Yrs. work experience in different International NGO and Ethiopian Airlines, Aynalem has also worked as Consultant for Grant Thornton Advisory Plc.