Laboratory services are an essential component of health care delivery and can be utilised effectively at every level of health care delivery. In the African region, many commonly presenting diseases may be diagnosed using basic, essential laboratory tests. Access to reliable laboratory diagnostic services is among the major challenges contributing to lack of appropriate and timely patient care. In Africa, many health facility managers sideline the laboratory, and diagnostic services are not recognised as an integral part of an effective, quality health care system.
Medical laboratories in Africa are managed by laboratory technical staff, many of whom have not received adequate training in all aspects of laboratory Quality Management Systems (QMS). Currently, many medical laboratories are preparing for national or international accreditation, and in some countries this is becoming a requirement for registration, making the training of laboratory supervisors and managers of paramount importance. The Medical Laboratory Practices and Management Course is designed to prepare laboratory managers to ensure laboratories meet accepted standards in all aspects of laboratory operation and provide quality and reliable diagnostic services to communities.
The Medical Laboratory Practices and Management Course contributes to improved health through competency-based training of Medical Laboratory Supervisors and Managers.
By the end of the course, graduates of the Laboratory Practices and Management Course should be able to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of the value of diagnostic tests in relation to public health issues and disease management.
- Apply knowledge and skills to develop laboratory quality management systems to improve the quality of care in their institutions, including support to malaria, TB and ART roll-out programmes at primary (district) levels of health care.
- Select and apply practical and feasible solutions to problems in implementing laboratory management systems at primary (district) levels of health care.
- Develop appropriate supervisory mechanisms to ensure all essential laboratory tests are conducted to accepted standards.
- Demonstrate an understanding and utilisation of quality assurance procedures and quality monitoring to improve laboratory performance.
- Provide guidance and direction to relevant health personnel in the management and use of laboratory data for decision-making.
- Analyse and quantify data and information on disease surveillance and outbreaks to enhance decision-making.
Laboratory staff with diploma level training or above with at least two years practical experience, including responsibilities in laboratory management and staff supervision.
Module 1: Concepts on Laboratory Accreditation
Module 2: Introduction to Health Facility Management and Standards of Laboratory Practice
Module 3: Laboratory Infrastructure and Resources (Resources such as Personnel Management Budgeting & Financing, Equipment, Chemicals & Reagents, Laboratory Design & Utilities)
Module 4: Introduction to Quality Management Systems and Quality Control
Module 5: Laboratory Bio-Safety and Bio-Security
Module 6: Laboratory Commodity Management
Module 7: Laboratory Management Information Systems
Module 8: Systematic Approach to Specimen Management and Processes
Module 9: Systematic Approach to Laboratory Processes
Module 10: Laboratory Audits, Occurrence Management and Process Improvement
Module 11: Client Management and Service
Module 12: Principles of Outbreak Management
Module 13: Fundamentals of Monitoring and Evaluation and Introduction to Research Methods
Module 14: Support Supervision
The training course involves a minimum 270 hours and a maximum of 570 hours of course work and is conducted in Three Phases between June and November each year:
- i. Phase One: a two month pre-training period equivalent to 80 hours of course work. In this phase, pre-training course tasks and exercises are sent in a CD-ROM to each participant to carry out a general assessment and examine various aspects of the laboratory services in their own institutions, and make a report. In the 2011 course, this phase will be conducted between June 3, – July 26, 2013
- ii. Phase Two: This is a two week residential training period equivalent to 70 hours of course work. The purpose of the residential training is to equip the participants with appropriate knowledge, skills and attitudes to undertake quality management of diagnostic practices and procedures, and to adequately address diagnostic errors and improve the overall delivery of health care services in their institutions. In the 2011 course, this phase will be conducted between August 5 – 16, 2013
- iii. Phase Three: This is a three month work-based training period equivalent to 120 hours of course work. This is work-based training conducted at the place of work, designed to enable participants to practise the various management and technical issues learnt during the course. Participants are expected to implement the Action Plans developed during Phase Two, and make a report. In the 2011 course, this phase will be conducted between August 26, – November 22, 2013
Fees: US$ 2495
The fee covers tuition, books, course materials, field trips, stationery, photocopies, AMREF pass, accommodation, food, local travel and incidental costs within Nairobi.
The course is conducted by the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) and the Regional AIDS Training Network (RATN).
The course has been formally endorsed by the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), UK.