Strengthening public health laboratories in the WHO African Region: a critical need for disease control: report of the Regional Director
AbstractBACKGROUND 1. Laboratories continue to play a critical role in all disease control and prevention programmes by providing timely and accurate information for use in patient management and disease surveillance. For purposes of case management and disease control and prevention, laboratories can be grouped into two broad categories: clinical laboratories and public health laboratories.1 2. Public health laboratories are responsible for providing timely and reliable results primarily for the purpose of disease control and prevention. Clinical laboratories, on the other hand, are responsible for providing accurate diagnosis of ongoing, recent or past infections for appropriate case management. The focus of the clinical laboratory is individual patient care. However, data generated from both types of laboratories are essential for disease surveillance, control and prevention activities. 3. In the African Region, the situation of laboratory services is characterized by inadequate staffing, equipment and supplies. These are the main obstacles to early detection of epidemics such as Ebola, Marburg and both multidrug-resistant and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis. Functioning public health laboratory systems rely on effective disease surveillance and prevention of major emerging, re-emerging and endemic communicable and noncommunicable diseases.2
Regional Committee for Africa, 58. (2008). Strengthening public health laboratories in the WHO African Region: a critical need for disease control: report of the Regional Director. World Health Organization. Regional Office for Africa. http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/19937
DescriptionRegional Committee for Africa, fifty-eighth Session, Yaounde, Republic of Cameroon, 1–5 September 2008, provisional agenda item 7.4
Gov't Doc #AFR/RC58/6
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