The second Afro-ACDx course brings together people involved in diagnosis in Africa to discuss leadership issues

Organized by the Mérieux Foundation and the Institut Pasteur in Dakar, the second edition of the advanced course on diagnostics for French-speaking African countries, Afro-ACDx, took place in Saly, Senegal, from November 20 to 25, 2022.

The participants and speakers of the Afro-ACDx course.
The participants and speakers of the Afro-ACDx course.

33 participants, 16 African countries represented, 35 international experts, ten sessions. These are some of the numbers that describe the week dedicated to diagnosis and leadership skills in French-speaking Africa. For the second year in succession, the advanced Afro-ACDx course brought together managers of biomedical analysis laboratories and decision-makers in the human and animal health sectors in Africa to strengthen their leadership skills and discuss the role and value of medical diagnostics.

Jointly led by Prof Jean Sakandé from the Mérieux Foundation and Dr Amadou Alpha Sall from the Institut Pasteur in Dakar, the course draws on the content of the Mérieux Foundation’s historic course on diagnostics, ACDx, and on the Global Laboratory Leadership Program (GLLP) to offer ten training modules on:

  • The role of laboratory diagnosis and presentation of the GLLP program
  • Leadership, self-awareness and motivation
  • The key roles and the organization of laboratories
  • Critical thinking and problem solving in laboratories
  • Long-term programs and actions to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR)
  • Decision-making and change management
  • Technological forum and social innovation
  • The organizational structure of a laboratory and its stakeholders
  • Access to diagnosis to combat epidemics
  • Review of key skills in diagnosis laboratories and universal health coverage

The highlight of the week was when a group of graduates from the first Afro-ACDx course joined this second edition from wednesday 23 to saturday 26 November. The 2021 participants were able to share what they had put in place in their organization over the past year and to exchange about the organizational structure of laboratories and their stakeholders. The objective was also to create a community of alumni between the two classes and to study leadership training.

It’s a very important Course to improve and respond to the challenges we face in our organizations. When you implement these leadership concepts, you become ambassadors and change makers.” Halimatou Diop-Ndiaye (Senegal) – Head of the Virology and Molecular Biology Unit of the HIV Reference Laboratory in Senegal

About Afro-ACDx

The capacity for management and critical decision-making – or leadership – is a key skill for managers and people working in biomedical analysis laboratories, allowing laboratories to reinforce their capacities and, as a result, be able to act more effectively in the prevention and control of infectious diseases at a community, regional and national level.

The advanced course on diagnostics in the French language on the African continent (Afro-ACDx) was designed to fulfill these requirements by making a link between the ACDx course that has been available in France for more than ten years and the GLLP global training program, which includes a module on leadership skills.

The idea behind the course is to improve the leadership skills of laboratory managers and to promote the role and value of medical diagnosis. Afro-ACDx therefore aims to reinforce the local capacities of biomedical analysis laboratories in West and Central Africa through training and the development of partnerships. It is geared towards laboratory directors and managers, and managers in charge of critical decision-making in the field of diagnosis in public health in Africa.

The scientific and educational committee for the course is made up of representatives of the following institutions: World Health Organization (WHO), WHO/AFRO, Africa CDC, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), National Institute of Biomedical Research (INRB), Institut Pasteur, West African Health Organization (WAHO), Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), West African Network of Biomedical Analysis Laboratories (RESAOLAB), private analysis laboratories in Africa, Global Fund. It is support by scholarships from bioMérieux, Cepheid and Illumina.