Training and capacity building are key in steering Diagnostic services-Dr. Diana


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The Ministry of Health organised a Lab-Sector Performance meeting under the theme “Rethinking Beyond HIV, TB, Malaria and COVID-19: Leveraging on Government, PEPFAR, Global Fund and Other Partner Investments to Shape a New Landscape for Sustainability.”

Dr. Diana Atwine, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health has said training and capacity building are areas where emphasis should be put on steering diagnostic services towards better service delivery in the health sector.

Dr. Atwine made these remarks, during the Laboratory sector performance review held on Thursday, September 28, 2023, at the Ministry of Health offices in Kampala.

“Diagnostic services are the engine that steers service delivery in the health sector. On top of infrastructure, investing in training and capacity building is key, and we should put more effort in that area,” Atwine said.

She noted that the sector has exhibited progress and achievements in managing HIV, TB, malaria, COVID-19, cancer, diabetes, sickle cells, anti-microbial resistance, and other key areas.

Dr.Atwine appreciated Prof.Pontiano Kaleebu, Prof.Moses Joloba, Dr.Susan Nabadda and Dr.Sauda Nambubiru for their exceptional contribution to the current capacity of the country’s laboratory services.

“We acknowledge all of you and your team for your heroic efforts towards the journey of our laboratories to meet international standards,” Dr.Atwine said.

She further appreciated the World Bank and Global Fund, especially for PEPFAR, that have moved and strengthened the laboratory services in the country.

Uganda’s National Health Laboratory Department (through the National Tuberculosis Reference Laboratory (NTRL) and Central Public Health Laboratories (CPHL) supports 26 countries in Africa as part of the World Health Organisation’s mandate and has supported ISO 15189 accreditation of 11 national reference laboratories in the region. This is marketing Uganda’s healthcare system internationally.

There are 3 specialized reference laboratories under NHLDS: the Central Public Health Laboratories (CPHL), the National Tuberculosis Reference Laboratory (NTRL), National Microbiology Reference Laboratory (NMRL), all of which are accredited to International Standards, meaning that their results are trusted anywhere in the world.

These reference laboratories are supplemented by the lab capacities in research institutes such as the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) Laboratory, the Joint Clinical Research Centre (JCRC), and universities (Makerere, Mbarara, and Gulu, among others).

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