The laboratory plays a critical role in disease detection, patient monitoring, prevention and health surveillance. Therefore, Laboratory Managers and those in charge of the ministry of Health must be able to make evidence-based decisions, be able to manage laboratories to ensure quality services, and demonstrate vision and leadership to inspire the process of change and continuous improvement.
A consortium of six major international organizations has been formed to develop the Global Laboratory Leadership Programme (GLLP). The consortium is composed of the following entities
- Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)
- Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
- World Organization for Animal Health (OIE)
- World Health Organization (WHO)
As part of its 2017-22 strategy, the Global Fund sought to include GLLP and outreach mentoring among its strategies to promote innovative initiatives to improve laboratory services. The GLLP program was chosen in response to the interest shown by the countries consulted. The Mérieux Foundation was selected to pilot the program in Mali, Guinea and Chad.
The project program targets current and emerging laboratory leaders, particularly mid- to senior-level laboratory professionals with experience in management, leadership and decision-making related to laboratory services.
The objectives of the GLLP program led by the Mérieux Foundation are to:
- Strengthen the skills of approximately 10-15 participants per country on four key themes of the GLLP program, accompanied by 4-5 mentors per country;
- Accompany each participant to develop and implement an innovative project in his/her institution to improve laboratory services;
- Implement a mentoring outreach to strengthen participants’ leadership learning through their innovative project.
The GLLP training is based on the development of 9 competencies:
- Laboratory system
- Quality Management System
- Biosafety and biosecurity
- Disease surveillance and outbreak investigation
- Emergency preparedness, response and recovery
Under the Foundation-led GLLP Program, the first three competencies will be taught in the three countries and an additional competency will be deployed based on expressed national needs.
The implementation of the project is divided into three phases:
Phase 1: Planning
- Identification of participants and mentors
- Selection of training modules
- Identification of monitoring indicators and baseline data
- Development of the Training and Monitoring Plan
Phase 2: Implementation
- Training GLLP modules
- Each participant develops an innovative project proposal and implements it
- Mentoring of the individual project
Phase 3: Assessment
- Evaluation of the progress of the labs followed
- Sharing of lessons learned
- Creation of a community of practice