Networks

At the regional level, establishing an inter-country network allows laboratories to share knowledge and experience to work towards harmonized national clinical biology policies. It promotes exchanges and provides member countries with greater leverage to advocate on behalf of laboratories.

A steadily growing network

When RESAOLAB was created in 2009, taking a regional approach to improving the management of clinical biology laboratories was a novel idea that we rolled out in 3 countries: Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal, with the support of Agence Française de Développement.

In 2013, the network was expanded to include 4 more countries: Benin, Guinea, Niger and Togo. Since 2015, the network has invited representatives of the 15 ECOWAS countries (Economic Community of West African States) to attend workshops and annual meetings to develop shared strategies and address key challenges: training personnel, transporting samples, combatting antimicrobial resistance, etc.

Benefits for laboratories

Benefits for laboratories

For laboratories, being part of a multi-country network simplifies adherence to international, regional and national health recommendations, including those from the WHO (i.e., the International Health Regulations) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (i.e., the Global Health Security Agenda).

It also makes it easier for labs to follow WAHO recommendations and guidance from the health ministers of the network’s 15 countries.

Key figures

10

bi annual workshops

on strengthening laboratories 4 of them with representatives from the 15 countries of ECOWAS

700

laboratories

receive supervision via the network

15

countries

belong to the RESAOLAB network, all members of ECOWAS

Other focus areas

Training

Providing initial and continuous training for laboratory personnel.

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Quality

Strengthening laboratory services by implementing a standardized quality system.

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Governance

Improving governance of laboratory systems by helping define regional and national policies.

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Surveillance

Establishing a laboratory information management system for infectious disease surveillance.

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