The Mérieux Foundation deploys laboratory leadership training in Mali and Guinea

The first training sessions have been conducted with laboratory professionals as part of the Global Laboratory Leadership Programme (GLLP), coordinated by the Mérieux Foundation in Mali, Guinea and Chad and supported by the Global Fund.

In Guinea, 15 participants followed two weeks of training from May 16th to 27th, 2022 at the National Laboratories Directorate in Conakry. After an introduction to Global Laboratory Leadership Programme (GLLP), they had the opportunity to expand their knowledge and skills in laboratory management and leadership.

“Laboratories play an essential role in detecting, controlling and preventing disease […]. This course targets the skills and abilities you will need to be good leaders, now and in the future,” declared Professor Mandiou Diakité, head of the country’s National Laboratories Directorate, at the beginning of the course.

In Mali, the first training session took place at the Charles Mérieux Center for Infectious Disease in Bamako from June 6th to 10th. The participants benefited from an introduction to the GLLP and general laboratory management.

Further sessions have been organized to complete the training. In Mali, the themes of laboratory leadership, quality management, communication and the laboratory system will be covered. Guinea will benefit from the same modules, except that quality management will be replaced by the topic of biosafety/biosecurity.

The GLLP is an innovative program that aims to strengthen the voice of laboratories through its participants, who are active managers in their institutions. The educational content, presented face-to-face, and the highly interactive nature of the course provide scope for rich exchanges between teachers and participants, but also between the public and private sectors of human health and the animal health sector.

Following these theoretical sessions, each participant will develop an individual project to improve laboratory services with the help of a local mentor. This part of the project is essential to assist participants in putting their newly acquired classroom knowledge into practice – a bridge between theory and the reality on the ground.

The GLLP program will begin in Chad in the second half of the year.

About the GLLP project

Laboratories play an essential role in disease detection, patient follow-up, illness prevention and health monitoring. Laboratory managers and officials in the health ministry must therefore be able to take decisions based on robust data, ensure that laboratories are well managed in order to guarantee high-quality services and demonstrate vision and leadership to inspire the process of change and continuous improvement.

Consequently, six major international organizations came together to develop the Global Laboratory Leadership Programme (GLLP).

As part of its 2017–22 strategy, the Global Fund included the GLLP and local mentoring among its strategies to promote innovative initiatives aiming 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 coordinate the program in Mali, Guinea and Chad.