The Makerere University- Johns Hopkins University Core Laboratory (MU-JHU), at the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI), at the Mulago Hospital complex, was recognized and awarded winners of the Best Practice in Laboratory Medicine by African Society of Laboratory Medicine (ASLM).
The Minister of Health, Ms. Sarah Aceng, while displaying the awards to the media said “ MU-JHU/ IDI’s winning of the award simply means that the system’s demonstration is in greater improvement outcomes in comparison to the best known international laboratories which signifies a great achievement by Uganda’s Ministry of Health on African continent, especially the selection process which was very competitive .”
Uganda’s public sector Early Infant Diagnosis (EID) and Viral load (VL) laboratories were in December, 2016, assessed and recommended for the international accreditation by the South African National Accreditation System (SANAS).
SANAS is the most meticulous accreditation body on the African continent. For these two public sector laboratories to attain international accreditation, the quality system landscape for Uganda’s laboratories is steadily changing. This has made them to match with any standard laboratories worldwide. The results of coming from EID and VL are ranked the same as those coming from any standard laboratories in America or Europe
Aceng said, “Laboratory services are the gateway to quality health care, due to their important role in confirming patient diagnosis and hence guide treatment. Laboratory services help in Identification of disease outbreaks, and enable timely control measures.”
She added that laboratories are instrumental in disease surveillance as they help estimate the burden of disease despite their pivotal role in the quality health services and disease surveillance. Laboratories are always neglected in the developing countries, and it is from this discovery that ASLM was formed to cater for laboratories in Africa.
MU-JHU/IDI Core Laboratory was the first laboratory in Uganda and sub-Saharan Africa to attain the globally acclaimed accreditation quality standard of the College of American Pathologists.
Also, from USA, MU-JHU/IDI was the first laboratory to be nominated by the Medical Laboratory Observer magazine for the annual Medical Laboratory of the Year Award in 2008. MUK’s laboratory was the second runners up that year; and in 2010, it became the first runners up. In 2015, the international quality audit which was done by Collage of American Pathologists (CAP) found MU-JHU/IDI with both zero deficiencies and recommendations. These results exceeded the CAP quality standards, thus the award this year.