20 April 2018

Liberia: Lab Week 2018 to Highlight Diagnostics in Liberia Post-Ebola

On April 24-25, health professionals will gather at the Monrovia City Hall for an event titled, "Celebrate Lab Week: Building Sustainability Post Ebola!"

The two-day event, according to a release, will highlight Liberia's diagnostic environment, co-hosted with the laboratory community and the Ministry of Health (MoH). It will run from 8a.m. to 5p.m. daily, promoting improvements in the diagnostic or lab environment in the country.

Minister of Health Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah is expected to launch the event, while taking a reflective look at what has happened in promoting better laboratory systems.

"During the Ebola crisis, it was the ability to diagnose the virus that allowed Liberia to turn things around to combat the spread of the disease through activities such as contact tracing," the release said.

This event celebrates lab professionals, who are usually forgotten as playing a critical role in Liberia's health system. It will feature speakers from the Ministry of Health, Dr. Jerry Brown from the JFK Hospital, Dr. Mosoka Fallah of the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL), many of the people who are leading the effort in ensuring better health for Liberians.

The Lab Week program committee is composed of public and private entities, as well as the international community. It is a true public-private partnership that occurs once every year during Lab Week, an international celebration of the work of laboratory technicians.

The conference hits a broad range of issues that impact laboratory medicine and beyond, ensuring that lab technicians working with private and public entities receive continuing education and become part of the discussion on lab system strengthening.

Sessions are not limited to the clinical side; they also extend to the public health and the corporate lab setting.

"Conferences such as this are common in other countries. We have been doing this for four years and together, with a diverse group of partners creating an opportunity for Liberian techs to attend an event focused on uplifting the profession," said Candace Eastman, the Chief Executive Officer.

"Africabio wants to promote public-private-partnerships where there is value for all stakeholders from the lab techs, to the Ministry of Health to vendors, researchers, and private companies, to leverage this experience to ultimately improve labs for all Liberians. Together failure is not an option," said Eastman.

It takes a village to improve health system in Liberia; therefore, public and private organizations continue to support the event in its fourth year.

Sponsors include Co-hosts - Ministry of Health, NPHIL, and World Health Organization with Fouta Corporation, Liberia Coca Cola Bottling Company, Deutsch Gesellschaft fur international Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Bolloré Logistics, Conex, Oragon, Aminata, BK Pharmacy, and Medsystems, with speakers from the U.S. Center for Disease Control, Clinton Health Access Initiative, John Snow, Incorporated and Jhpiego/MCHP, auxiliaries of the health sector.

Although the conference is in celebration of Lab Week, it cuts across allied health, with workshops focused on issues surrounding policy, bio-safety, bio-security, quality assurance, and increasing Liberia's intellectual property in research.

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