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Wednesday, September 24, 2015

Volume 3 | Issue 16

Tanzania Mentors 628pxASM consultants Douglas Abbott and John Aldom join new trainers Jacob Lusekelo, Aloyce Ole Sulul, Salum Nyanga, and Zechariah Igembe in Tanzania.

1. Realizing Country Ownership in Tanzania
This September, ASM took another step towards sustainability of microbiology programs in Tanzania. ASM developed its Basic Microbiology curriculum into a five-day Training of Trainers workshop for 11 Tanzanian microbiologists. Seven new trainers were selected to facilitate Basic Microbiology Workshops from September 7-11 and 14-18, 2015. The workshops served to further the assistance ASM has provided through local Tanzanian mentors. Twenty-nine laboratorians from zonal and regional hospitals participated. The diagnostic training was timely given the ongoing outbreak of cholera in parts of Tanzania. For more information, please contact Lynee Galley (

2. Preparing for Graduation: Second ASM–Mentored Lab to Graduate in Ethiopia!
An ASM expert consultant will travel to Ethiopia in October 2015 for a three-week final microbiology mentoring visit to the Bahir-Dar Regional Public Health Laboratory (BRPHL). The BRPHL, located in Bahir-Dar city, Ethiopia, has been mentored by ASM since 2012 in the proper implementation of microbiology technical skills and quality systems, and will be eligible to graduate in October 2015 after successfully meeting all the graduation requirements of the ASM Microbiology Mentoring Program. ASM, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-Ethiopia and the Ethiopia Public Health Institute (EPHI), will host a graduation ceremony at the BRPHL premises on October 29, 2015 to present the microbiology laboratory and trained microbiology technologists (the mentees) with a plaque and certificates for successful completion of the program. To learn more, please contact Maritza Urrego (

3. ASM Training in Botswana Brings Technicians from Across Country to Improve Laboratory Diagnostics
Last month, ASM implemented a Quality Control (QC) and Method Validation training workshop for 37 participants from 36 sites across Botswana in support of the SLMTA (Strengthening Laboratory Management toward Accreditation) training program. Quantitative QC practices in the laboratory setting are critical for providing high-quality, accurate patient care. In collaboration with CDC-Botswana, ASM invited individuals ranging from laboratory technician up to laboratory managers to participate in this eight-day graduate-level training course. Additionally, in order to grow in-country expertise, three local laboratorians co-facilitated the workshop. Overall it was a huge success—the 37 participants came away with new skills, new confidence in their diagnostic capacity, and a deeper understanding of the importance and impact of strong QC and Method Validation. To learn more, please contact Nisha Puntambekar (

4. Lab Leaders Take Biosafety Lessons Home to Pakistan
Ten laboratory leaders from across Pakistan gathered in Dubai in early September to review and reinforce the skills they had gained over the past year as part of the ASM 52 Weeks of Biosafety program. Through monthly webinars and two in-person workshops, the participants have completed a robust curriculum on a wide variety of biosafety and biosecurity topics. The final workshop in Dubai proved that the participants were ready to take the lessons learned back to their home labs, where they have already fostered impressive improvements in safety culture. To learn more, contact Alle Taylor (

5. ASM Supports Cote d’Ivoire Labs Towards Accreditation
In collaboration with its local partner, AMLS, and other stakeholders, ASM conducted baseline assessment for three new regional labs in Cote d’Ivoire (located in Daloa, Man and San Pedro), identified major and minor non-conformities and developed improvement plans. AMLS will return to these regional labs to establish steering committees and sensitize them to WHO-AFRO accreditation requirements, as well as define committees’ roles and responsibilities in achieving accreditation. AMLS has also conducted internal audits in the three other regional labs (Korhogo, Yamoussoukro and Abengourou), assessing the progress made on earlier recommendations and charting a plan with leadership to accelerate progress towards accreditation. To learn more, please contact Metta-Alem Sinishaw (

6. After the Quality Audit, Corrective Actions through Mentoring
An ASM expert consultant will travel to Namibia in October-November 2015 to conduct a follow-up three-week on-site mentoring visit to the TB Central Laboratory in Windhoek (WCL), under the management of the Namibia Institute of Pathology (NIP). The ASM expert consultant will provide one-on-one training to mentees (TB lab supervisor and technologists) in all areas of TB diagnosis and propose a corrective action plan based on the results the WCL will receive from the African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM)’s audit visit in September 2015. The ASLM is an implementing partner in the WHO AFRO SLIPTA (Stepwise Laboratory Quality Improvement Toward Accreditation) Program. The ASLM auditor will evaluate the progress of the WCL’s quality management systems (QMS) based on the ISO 15189/17025 accreditation standards. In addition, the ASM expert consultant will provide technical support to NIP’s Quality Assurance department for the strengthening of their EQA program for AFB smear microscopy in the country. To learn more, please contact Maritza Urrego (

7. Improving Malaria Diagnostic Capacity in Guinea
ASM’s two local consultants completed an assessment of health centers’ capacity to provide malaria rapid diagnostic testing (RDT) in the Labé district of Guinea. The consultants reviewed RDT records in order to assess the accuracy in confirming cases of malaria, and also ensured that the health center has the capacity to prevent and manage malaria cases as directed by the national malaria control strategy. The consultants provided recommendations to health center staff on improvements and methods of aligning activities with the national policy. In addition, the consultants traveled to the Boké region to conduct site visits; seven laboratory technicians from two hospitals were evaluated on their abilities to diagnose malaria cases using standard slide sets. Finally, the consultants reported assessment findings and made recommendations to the Technical Working Group. The identified gaps and recommended corrective actions will inform the implementation plan for the coming budget year. For more information, please contact Nisha Puntambekar (


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