Guidance for Establishing a National Health Laboratory System
AbstractHealth laboratory services are a critical component of strong national health systems, yet they are often neglected in resource-limited countries. Laboratories play a central role in individual patient diagnosis and care, in disease surveillance and control, and in provision of accurate health data for national planning and resource mobilisation. In spite of this, many millions of people, particularly those in rural and under-served areas on the African continent, still do not have access to basic reliable diagnostic laboratory services.Establishment of a comprehensive National Health Laboratory System provides the framework for coordinated development and delivery of accessible, quality laboratory services countrywide. This ‘’Guidance for Establishing a National Health Laboratory System‘’ provides technical guidance for the steps required to develop a National Laboratory Policy and National Laboratory Strategic Plan, and effectively implement all the key elements of a comprehensive National Health Laboratory System. These include the organisational and management structure, the regulatory framework, a laboratory human resources plan, laboratory infrastructure, care and maintenance of equipment, provision of laboratory supplies, a functional information management system, laboratory quality and biorisk management systems and overall resource and financial management.The document also proposes a structure for better coordination of activities among health programmes, institutions and partners at all levels of the health system.The document provides examples of resource materials from various countries and suggestions for further reading to support implementation of the recommendations.
World Health Organization. Regional Office for Africa. (2014). Guidance for Establishing a National Health Laboratory System. World Health Organization. Regional Office for Africa. https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/148351