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PEPFAR-funded Project Helps Swaziland Labs Earn Their Stars
Five Swaziland laboratories have been awarded stars of accreditation by the African Society for Laboratory Medicine.
The Swaziland HIV- and TB-related Laboratory Support Project (2009–2014) is strengthening lab quality assurance and quality management systems and expanding both HIV/AIDS and TB diagnostic services at all levels of the Swaziland health system. Through the CDC-funded PEPFAR program, URC is upgrading equipment and training for HIV-testing techniques and establishing processes and procedures for lab safety, quality assurance, and quality control.
URC is introducing new technologies to 1) improve existing procedures and practices involving HIV/AIDS/TB diagnoses at the National Reference Laboratory (NRL) and peripheral labs, 2) increase the number of labs with highly functional HIV and TB testing systems, 3) strengthen national capacity to lead and manage the roll-out of adequate HIV and TB diagnostic services, and 4) institutionalize modern quality improvement approaches as an integral part of health care.
Recently, the African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM), a pan-African organization dedicated to strengthening lab services, awarded stars of accreditation to five laboratories in Swaziland following a rigorous auditing process (see "SD's five laboratories receive stars of accreditation awards,"The Swazi Observer).
ASLM has set four goals to achieve by 2020 (ASLM2020). Goal 2 concerns lab accreditation and provides that by 2020, 250 labs in Africa will achieve accreditation by international standards. The recently awarded stars represent clear progress toward the Laboratory Support Project's goals, in line with ASLM2020.
June 30, 2014