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The Second Training Workshop on Strengthening Laboratory Management Towards Accreditation (SLMTA2), which aims to build further the capacity of laboratory managers and technicians on Laboratory Quality management systems (QMS), kicked off in Monrovia-Liberia. Participating in the training are 18 laboratory professionals from the reference laboratory of six (06) West African countries, including Cape Verde, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Togo, Benin, and Mali.  SLMTA is a competence-based training that uses a series of short courses, hands-on activities, and work-based learning projects to effect immediate and measurable improvement in the laboratory while empowering laboratory managers to implement quality management systems to ensure better patient care. 

The SLMTA 2 opening session took place on 3rd October 2022 at Corina Hotel in Monrovia under the auspices of the Liberia Minister of Health, Honorable Wilhelmina Jallah. The Coordinator of the RISLNET West Africa Programme from Africa CDC, the Director of the Liberia National Public Health Laboratory and the representative of the Executive Director of Global Health Systems Solutions (GHSS) also attended the opening session. GHSS is organizing the SLMTA2 training from 3rd to 7th October 2022 within the Regional Integrated Surveillance and Laboratory Network (RISLNET)-West Africa Project, which the Organization is implementing with funds from Africa CDC.

Africa CDC’s RISLNET West Africa Project Coordinator, Mr. Thaddee Nyoyitungira, noted that the RISLNET project has come to harness existing public health facilities in each African sub-region. He added, “Not only to harness but also to be able to build the capacity of different public health specialists to make sure that we are ready for the next pandemic.”

Honorable Wilhelmina Jallah, speaking during the programme’s opening session, underscored the importance of the SLMTA training workshops to Africa. The Minister of Health added, “With the SLMTA 1, 2, and 3 training workshops, I can see Africa preparing for whatever may befall us. As we prepare for the accreditation of our laboratory, we all have to be proud and happy because we will no longer have to sit and wait to be recipients of crumbs after all other countries in the world have gotten vaccines, equipment and whatever they need.”   

Mr. Ntongowa Callistus, representing the Executive Director of GHSS at the opening session of the SLMTA2 training workshop, outlined what the participants will experience, noting: “During your stay here, you will be trained on laboratory Quality Management Systems using module 2, module 3 and module 5 of the SLMTA Toolkit, alongside some cross-cutting activities.

Participants are expected to gain new knowledge and a better understanding of how to better organize their workstation/area, manage stock and inventory, as well as perform and document routine equipment maintenance activities in their laboratories when the training workshop ends on Friday, 7th October 2022. Global Health Systems Solutions (GHSS) is organizing this training to build on SLMTA 1 training that took place last June 2022 in Benin.  The Organization is leveraging its experience of leading five laboratories in the Central African Region to accreditation to train, mentor and prepare the National Public Health Reference laboratories of Mali, Benin, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Togo, and Cape Verde for ISO 15189 Accreditation.