ASLM’s Lab Mapping Program (LabMaP) aims to advance diagnostic capabilities through optimizing laboratory networks. This has been achieved by establishing reusable tools for the collection, storage and analysis of GIS-linked data on laboratory capacity, systems and networks in Africa. The project is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and contributes to achieve key objectives under the laboratory network pillar of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention(Africa CDC). LabMaP provides reusable and open source solutions to countries that are ready to inventory geo-located information on their laboratory systems, in support of evidence-based decision making. The system was developed and piloted in Ethiopia, in partnership with the Ethiopian Public Health Institute, and in Niger, in partnership with the Ministry of Health of Niger and Fondation Mérieux, to demonstrate proof of the concept that:
- Comprehensive data on laboratory capacity can be collected and updated easily through local, country-owned systems.
- Support decision making for optimisation of networks for particular purposes, e.g., optimised coverage for meningitis confirmation, optimised capacity for antimicrobial resistance testing.
What Tools Exist?
The program has developed a set of reusable tools to make it easy for partners to collect, manage and utilize their data. See the following list of specific details:
- Software tools
- Guides and support tools
Portal for Open Data Access
ASLM provides an open access data portal available to search and access available data. You can access it here: map.aslm.org/map
How Can a Country Join the LabMaP Initiative?
To date, Niger, Ethiopia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Congo-Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic (CAR), Gabon, Chad, and Sao Tome and Principe have joined LabMaP with support from ASLM and Africa CDC.
Any country expressing interest in the process should contact ASLM (email@example.com), Aytenew Ashenafi - ASLM Program Manager (AAshenafi@aslm.org), and Africa CDC (firstname.lastname@example.org) through its Ministry of Health to be enrolled in the programme. Have other ideas for collaboration? Let us know!