As part of the West African network of biomedical analysis laboratories (RESAOLAB), are being inaugurated today in Togo, the Directorate of Pharmacy, Medicine and Laboratories, the Laboratory Directorate’s Center of External Quality Assessment and the Center for Continuous Training.
These inaugurations are celebrated by RESAOLAB’s partners, Prof. Moustapha Mijiyawa, Minister of Health and Social Welfare in Togo, Prof. Dodzi Komla Kokoroko, President of the University of Lomé, Benoît Miribel, Director General of Fondation Mérieux, Dr. Monique Dorkenoo, RESAOLAB coordinator in Togo, and her team, as well as the leading figures in clinical biology in Togo.
Strengthening laboratory system governance in Togo
RESAOLAB is an innovative network whose goal is to increase vulnerable populations’ access to diagnostics in seven West African countries, including Togo. One of the major RESAOLAB activities consists in offering optimized infrastructures to the Ministries of Health in countries which are members of the network to support the development of an efficient laboratory system. The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in Togo has thus been provided with a Directorate of Pharmacy, Medicine and Laboratories.
Belonging to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in Togo, this Directorate will contribute to the implementation of its policy regarding laboratory supervision, coordinating the activity of clinical biology laboratories within the country, controlling the quality of their analyses and recommending personnel training if necessary. Thus, a section of the building is assigned to External Quality Assessment and to continuous training of clinical biology lab technicians, who are provided with a classroom, a multimedia room and two practical work rooms.
Fondation Mérieux, as the project manager, brought its expertise for the production of the building and the worksite supervision (design, technical specifications, request for proposals), in association with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in Togo.
In addition, RESAOLAB provided some support towards the improvement of initial training conditions in Togo through the renovation of practical work rooms within the Faculty of Health Science and the School for Higher Education in Biology and Food Techniques, both institutions being part of the University of Lomé.
Thanks to the renovation of training rooms, 100 students will be hosted, offering them improved conditions for their training and knowledge-sharing.
Since the launch of RESAOLAB in 2009, 4 Directorates of Laboratories have been built and fully equipped in West Africa, 3 additional ones are being built and will be finished in 2017.
This inter-country West African laboratory network was launched in 2009 by Fondation Mérieux in collaboration with the ministers of Health of Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal. Four new countries joined the network in 2013: Benin, Guinea, Niger and Togo. The program is made possible thanks to the support of Agence Française de Développement (AFD), Islamic Development Bank, International Cooperation of the Principality of Monaco, Stavros Niarchos Foundation and Fondation Mérieux. The World Health Organization and the West African Health Organisation (WAHO) collaborate on the program.
It focuses on 6 key objectives:
- improve laboratory services by setting up a standardized quality system
- strengthen initial and continuing training for laboratory staff
- establish a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) in the network’s main laboratories
- contribute to increasing funding for laboratory systems
- reinforce national systems for purchasing, maintenance and management of laboratories
- improve regional and national governance of laboratory systems.
In Togo, a RESAOLAB member since 2013, initial and continuous training of laboratory personnel has been reinforced: 30 tutors in laboratory quality management were trained and 4 scholarships were given for a degree in biology. In order to improve laboratory services, 14 laboratories were supervised.