February 16, 2017 | Lomé (Togo)
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 are being inaugurated as part of the Mérieux Foundation’s West African network of biomedical analysis laboratories (RESAOLAB).
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 the Mérieux Foundation; 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 (Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal, Benin, Guinea, Niger and Togo). RESAOLAB offers optimized infrastructures to the Ministries of Health in member countries 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 help implement laboratory supervision, coordinate the activity of clinical biology laboratories within the country, control the quality of their analyses, and recommend personnel training if necessary. Thus, a section of the building is assigned to External Quality Assessment and to continuous training of clinical biology laboratory technicians, providing them with a classroom, a multimedia room, and two practical work rooms.
As the project manager, the Mérieux Foundation 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 by renovating practical work rooms within the Faculty of Health Science and the School for Higher Education in Biology and Food Techniques. Both institutions are 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, four Directorates of Laboratories have been built and fully equipped in West Africa; three more are under construction and will be finished in 2017.
This inter-country West African laboratory network was launched in 2009 by the Mérieux Foundation 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 Mérieux Foundation. The World Health Organization and the West African Health Organisation (WAHO) collaborate on the program.
It focuses on six 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 four scholarships were given for a degree in biology. In order to improve laboratory services, fourteen laboratories were supervised.
Visit website: RESAOLAB, French Language