The online workshops brought together about thirty participants from the international coordination unit, the member countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo) and Oneworld Accuracy partners.
After a short welcome speech, the workshops provided an opportunity to discuss the latest situation concerning the Covid-19 pandemic in each country, including the number of cases, the vaccination strategy and the local management of the epidemic.
Professor Jean Sakandé, the main coordinator of RESAOLAB, then went on to present the methodology and results of the Scorecard assessment, introduced as part of phase 3 of RESAOLAB. This assessment is carried out at the start and end of the project, using a score grid to measure how well the laboratory networks of the member countries are functioning and to suggest actions that may help improve these scores.
The workshops also provided the opportunity for an update on the progress of ongoing collaborations, particularly the work shared by the Mérieux Foundation and the Global Fund on the REASAOLAB project.
Two presentations were given on the second day of the technical workshops, one on the Oneworld Accuracy External Quality Assessment (EQA) program and the other on the deployment of the LabBook software (link to the latest news on LabBook published on 20 July) for laboratory data management.
The monitoring of the RESAOLAB project has revealed a delay in the progress of activities in the countries due to the Covid-19 crisis, but it also emphasizes that some activities have begun, such as the development of framework documents, ongoing training sessions and the allocation of study grants. These workshops also underline the importance of the RESAOLAB network, both in terms of the activities implemented and the relations and collaborations it has forged.
A system of medical biology laboratories providing high-quality services is an essential requirement for improving population health. 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, it takes into consideration all the factors affecting the laboratories’ governance and performance. Its objective is to improve the quality of medical biology services in seven West African countries, by reinforcing their laboratory systems with a multifaceted regional approach.
RESAOLAB is an innovative network that aims to enhance access to quality diagnostics for vulnerable people in seven West African countries. The project was initiated by the Mérieux Foundation in 2009, in collaboration with the Ministries of Health of Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal. Four new countries joined the network in 2013: Benin, Guinea, Niger and Togo. The project entered its third phase in 2019 as part of a partnership between the Mérieux Foundation and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), in order to continue to reinforce laboratory systems.