Strengthening Laboratory Management Towards Accreditation
Basic Laboratory Information System
Equipment Maintenance and Calibration
Health Work Force Capacity Building
Globally Connected World
Global Health Systems Solutions (GHSS)
In today’s globally connected world, disease threats can spread faster and more unpredictably than ever before. It is more evident now than ever, that a threat anywhere is a threat everywhere, when we consider the current and ongoing Coronavirus disease Pandemic (COVID-19) that started in Wuhan, China in December 2019 and has spread to over 209 countries in all continents of the world affecting over 1.3 million people with over 100,000 deaths. Within 4 weeks after the detection of the first case in Cameroon, 820 cases have been registered and 12 deaths. These figures keep increasing by the day. This is so far the most alarming pandemic in recent times. It has threatened the health security of the entire world and collapsing the world economy. The impact on health and financial systems, and the entire world economy continues to worsen as the days go by. This and many other challenges awaken GHSS to engineer multiple strategies in addressing global challenges.
GHSS promote multi-sectoral engagement and partnerships to continue to strengthen Cameroon’s capacities to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease outbreaks and demonstrate improvement at all levels in developing strong health systems and resources needed for enhanced surveillance, preparedness and readiness efforts for outbreaks, public health emergencies and health threats, and frameworks that support International Health Regulations (IHR, 2005).
Global Health Systems Solutions (GHSS) has been a laboratory implementing partner for the past 9 years with US CDC/PEPFAR in Cameroon, for the past 1 year in the Democratic Republic of Congo and for the past 1 year with Africa CDC/AUC in 9 Central African Countries. GHSS brings broad experiences working with national governments to strengthen national laboratory systems and policy planning for laboratory services, with extensive collaboration with other international partners: WHO-AFFRO, American Society for Microbiology (ASM); African Society of Laboratory Medicine (ASLM); Cheik Anta Diop University (CADU); and Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL). GHSS has collaborated with consulting firms and subject matter experts (SMEs) like, Biologic Solutions, Umoyo Public Health Services, SADCAS Assessors, and SANAS in establishing QMS and obtaining accreditation. GHSS has made tremendous progress in strengthening laboratory systems in Countries in Central African Region (Cameroon, Democratic republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Chad, Gabon, Central Africa Republic, Sao Tome and Principe, Burundi, Equatorial Guinea), in Ghana, and the 5 countries in the Caribbean’s (Bahamas, Barbados, Haiti, Jamaica, and Suriname). GHSS’ bilingual QMS Trainers, QA Trainers, laboratory mentors, auditors and equipment maintenance and calibration engineers have developed/adapted training curricula, and conducted trainings on QMS, SLMTA, laboratory Mentorship, equipment maintenance and mentored laboratories leading to improved SLIPTA star levels and ISO 15189 accreditation (5 laboratories accredited from 2016 – 2020). In collaboration with international and local players, GHSS has supported the development of laboratory policy documents and procedures. They include the National Laboratory Strategic Plans and policies in Central African Regional states and 5 Countries in the Caribbean (Bahamas, Suriname, Haiti, Jamaica, Barbados); laboratory biosafety manuals; laboratory quality assessment manuals; clinicians manuals; sample collection manuals; laboratory technical and general standard operating procedures (SOPs); a policy guidance framework for implementing the continuous quality improvement (CQI) of HIV related diagnostics; guidelines for HIV – POCT; framework for community laboratory corps (CLC); comprehensive guideline documents on proficiency testing; national algorithm for HIV Rapid Testing; national guidelines for the certification of HIV Rapid Testing and related Point of Care Testers and testing sites in different countries. GHSS is currently collaborating with the Africa CDC’s Regional Integrated Surveillance and Laboratory Network (RISLNET) and taking a regional approach to emergency preparedness by building on existing public health capacities, sharing experiences on preparedness and health systems strengthening, collaborating on research, and building collective, continent-wide capacity to effectively respond to disease threats and effectively prepare for and fight outbreaks of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases in the region. For the past 8 years, GHSS has managed a total of $13,615,590 US Dollars (USD) funding from foreign bodies. Amongst which $9,230,000 US Dollars was PEPPAR funds granted through a 5 year Cooperative Agreement (CoAg) with US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that ended in September 2017 while $1,100,590 USD were sub-grants in which GHSS acted as consultants in implementing HIV related activities. This gives an average funding of well above $1,500,000 USD a year. In our 3rd year we used up $3,260,000 USD and $1,515,000 USD in year 4, and in the extended 5th year that ended in September 2017 we used $2,536,000 USD. The second cycle of the CoAg was awarded to GHSS, and it is on-going since 1st October 2017. We are equally carrying out a Centre Africa regional project for lab strengthening funded by Africa Union Commission. We are equally running projects in Cameroon and other African countries funded by IRESSEF and CADU and ASLM.
GHSS has also undergone yearly audits by a renounce accounting firm, Deloitte and Touche up to 2017. Our 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 financial years audit were conducted by PwC. We have had five consistent clean external audits from these reputable firms. GHSS staffs have also undertaken several CDC/PEPFAR trainings.