Event

The Mérieux Foundation and its partners present new approaches to strengthen laboratory systems at ASLM2018

December 4, 2018 - Lyon (France)

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The Mérieux Foundation is participating in the 4th conference of the African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM), an international, biennial event that brings together more than 1500 experts in public health and laboratory medicine to discuss issues related to access to diagnostics on the African continent.

ASLM2018

Increasing access to diagnostics by supporting biomedical testing infrastructure is a major area of work for the Mérieux Foundation. It is contributing its experience in several sessions, including the organization of a conference on strengthening laboratory systems and participation in a session on laboratory mapping, as part of its partnership with ASLM.

Increasing access to diagnostics by supporting biomedical testing infrastructure is a major area of work for the Mérieux Foundation. It is contributing its experience in several sessions, including the organization of a conference on strengthening laboratory systems and participation in a session on laboratory mapping, as part of its partnership with ASLM.

ASLM2018 – preventing and controlling the next pandemic: the role of the laboratory

Organized in Abuja (Nigeria), December 10-13, ASLM2018 will focus on a critical theme, at the heart of the global scientific and medical community’s concerns: anticipating and preventing the spread of epidemics with pandemic potential.

The ASLM conferences are designed to be a platform for the international laboratory medicine community to share best practices and knowledge and debate innovative approaches for combatting global health threats. 

The Mérieux Foundation conference on laboratory system strengthening

Recent outbreaks have highlighted the need for diagnostics and the important role of laboratory systems. The growing issue of AMR and the fields of HIV and TB, in particular, also call for quality laboratories and a high-performance organization of the laboratory system. The complexity of technologies and the increase of associated costs are also major constraints in this field.

In this context, the Mérieux Foundation is organizing a conference during ASLM2018 to explore the challenges faced by laboratory systems at different levels: clinical testing for patients or epidemic surveillance and management. Leaders from laboratory directorates and hospitals from six countries will share their experience with new approaches and initiatives to strengthen laboratory systems, particularly in West Africa.

Monday, December 10 at 8:00 – 12:00

The Role of Laboratory Systems in Health Systems: Lesson Learned and Perspecti

Organized by the Mérieux Foundation and chaired by Dr. François-Xavier Babin, Diagnostics and Health Systems Director at the Mérieux Foundation. Several West African partners will present initiatives: Dr. Ignatius Baldeh, Director of the National Public Health Laboratory of Gambia, Prof. Mandiou Diakité, Deputy Director of the Laboratory Directorate of the Guinean Ministry of Health, Dr. Abdelaye Keita, National Institute of Public Health Research of Mali, Prof. Abdoul-Salam Ouedraogo, Head of the Bacteriology-Virology laboratory at the Souro Sanou Teaching Hospital and AMR focal point for Burkina Faso. Dr. Saïda Rasoanandrasana, biologist at the Joseph Raseta Befelatanana Hospital in Madagascar will present the RESAMAD initiative.

Presenting at the session on geospatial digital tools for mapping

The Mérieux Foundation’s collaboration with ASLM to apply mapping techniques to laboratories is another highlight of the Mérieux Foundation’s participation in ASLM2018. The Mérieux Foundation is mapping the laboratories of Niger as part of the ASLM’s LabMaP program, which aims to provide the Ministry of Health with the tools and information needed to monitor and strengthen the national laboratory network. The foundation is in charge of coordinating activities with the Health Laboratories Directorate, training staff, organizing data collection, and participating in analysis and migration to a DHIS2 data collection platform.

Tuesday, December 11 at 17:00 – 20:00

Geospatial dgital tools: best practices and opportunities to improve quality and coverage of key laboratory services

Session organized by ASLM and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Participants include: Nicolas Steenkeste, Quality Initiative Manager at the Mérieux Foundation, Scott Teesdale, Project Manager for the Bill & Melinda Gates mHealth Surveillance project at InSTEDD, and Xavier Morelle, Chief Executive Officer of SAVICS. Issues of availability, accessibility, data collection and processing to assess biomedical capacity at the country or regional level will be discussed. Participants are invited to join an interactive group design-thinking exercise.

Co-chairing the symposium on the role of laboratory systems in one health networks

Thursday, December 13 at 13:30 – 15:00

Laboratory Systems and Networks for One Health

Co-chaired by Dr. Iruka Okeke, Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Microbiology, University of Ibadan, Nigeria and Dr. François-Xavier Babin, Diagnostics and Health Systems Director at the Mérieux Foundation.

Participating in the round table on regional laboratory networks and emerging disease threats

Wednesday, December at 12 17:00 – 18:30

Africa Regional Laboratory Networks: perspective on emerging disease threats

With Dr. Odile Ouwe Missi Oukem-Boyer, Mérieux Foundation Mali & Niger country manager and General Director ad interim of the Charles Mérieux Center for Infectious Diseases of Mali, member country of the RESAOLAB network.

Presenting 13 Mérieux Foundation projects selected by ASLM

3 oral presentations:

Wednesday, December 12 at 11:00 – 11:30

  • LabBook open access LIMS: Improving quality, safety and cost effectiveness of laboratory systems.

Thursday, December 13 at 11:00 – 11:30

  • LAB-NET: Science and education to prevent the next pandemic.

Thursday, December 13 at 11:00 – 11:30

  • RESAOLAB: The construction of an inter-country laboratory network: Challenges and prospects of the RESAOLAB Program in West Africa.

10 posters for viewing during lunch breaks:

  • DJOMI project: assessing the capacities of biomedical laboratories in Mali (project funded by the Global Health Security Agenda),
  • Laboratory mapping in Niger: challenges and perspectives of a pilot project to assess biomedical testing services in Niger,
  • Partnership for biosecurity and biosafety: G5 Sahel Biosafety Network: successes and challenges (launched in 2016 in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger),
  • Measuring the effectiveness of antiretroviral treatment in Laos: undetectable viral load for 93.5 % of patients living with HIV/AIDS under antiretroviral treatment in 2017,
  • Monitoring patients living with HIV/AIDS: progress and perspectives of capacity building for viral load testing in Madagascar,
  • I-Lab project: connecting clinical laboratories to infectious disease surveillance systems in Senegal,
  • LABOMEDCAMP project: success and challenges of a network of country laboratories in five regions of Mali,
  • A successful strategy for fighting antimicrobial resistance in Madagascar,
  • Improving knowledge of quality management systems: the Quality Initiative website,
  • REDISSE project: assessing the epidemiological surveillance capacities of laboratories in Guinea-Bissau (pilot study of 10 regional laboratories).

For more information on ASLM2018 or to download the complete program

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