Close to 30 participants, including the leading figures of RESAOLAB of Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo, gathered for the project’s third phase, initiated in Niamey, Niger, in 2019, with the objective of pursuing the development of medical biology in the seven countries while improving regional cooperation for a coordinated and harmonized intervention approach between these French-speaking West African countries.
The network’s annual meeting took place in the presence of Marie Khemesse Ngom Ndiaya, Director General of Health in Senegal, Prof. Amadou Moctar Dieye, Director of Laboratories in Senegal, Dr. François-Xavier Babin, Director of International Operations of the Mérieux Foundation and Prof. Jean Sakandé, coordinator of the network.
First feedback on RESAOLAB phase 3
This steering committee meeting was an opportunity to take stock of the activities carried out this year, particularly in the context of the response to COVID-19, made possible thanks to an additional support awarded by the French Development Agency as part of the “COVID-19 – Health in Common” initiative.
Also discussed was the planning of the project 2021 activities, the validation of the management tools for phase 3 and the identification of needs and intervention strategies for the implementation of regional activities.
As the thematic workshops planned for April 2020 could not take place due to the pandemic of COVID-19, two days of workshops were organized to address cross-cutting issues such as mapping laboratory capacities, the positioning of the departments in charge of the laboratory on the activities of the Global Fund and the collection and reporting of laboratory surveillance data. The discussions allowed the members of the network exchange on the role of the department in charge of laboratories within the health systems and to define the strengthening activities that could be carried out within the network on these subjects.
If public health is to improve, then a system of biology labs offering quality services is a fundamental prerequisite. The West African Network of Biomedical Analysis Laboratories (RESAOLAB) is the first regional program in West Africa to provide a response to this public health concern. Designed with West African healthcare stakeholders and the member countries’ ministries of health, it takes into consideration all factors affecting the laboratories’ governance and performance. R
RESAOLAB was started by the Mérieux Foundation in 2009 in collaboration with Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal. In 2013, four countries joined the network: Benin, Guinea, Niger and Togo. The project starts off its third phase in 2019 as part of a partnership between the Mérieux Foundation and the Agence française de Développement, in order to continue to reinforce laboratory systems.
RESAOLAB in Senegal
Senegal is a member country of RESAOLAB since 2009. Since then, the project has led to the creation of a National Laboratories Directorate, the renovation of several training centers and the construction of a National Public Health Laboratory. Initial and continuing training of laboratory staff has been reinforced and laboratories now benefit from supervision under the national quality plan.
Some results of RESAOLAB in Senegal :
- A National Quality Plan
- 252 laboratories supervised
- External Quality Assessment sessions have involved 385 public and private laboratories
- Including 20 laboratories involved in the EEQ pilot project with OneWorld Accuracy
- 225 fellows in DES in Medical Biology (host country of the training)
- 52 training sessions organized
- 15 people trained in the LabBook software
- 2 technicians trained in equipment maintenance