The World Bank-funded East Africa Public Health Laboratory Networking Project (EAPHLNP) aims to establish a network of cross-country, high-quality public health laboratories within Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda that will serve as surveillance sites to monitor hot spots for disease transmission.

Program goals:
The laboratory networking project aims to address the common challenges facing the five countries: dilapidated infrastructure built decades ago; inadequate supply and quality of human resources which are the backbone of quality diagnostics; and manual information systems which are not effective for decision making.

It also addresses the capacity to communicate outbreak-related information across national borders in real time. The laboratories will improve access to diagnostic services among vulnerable populations living in the cross-border areas of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda.

Locations of the World Bank-funded East African Public Health Laboratories:

eaphln labs all

Map of Uganda Showing some demographics:

map of Uganda

Key program components:
The laboratories in this regional network will serve as surveillance sites to monitor hot spots for disease transmission and will make optimal use of internet and mobile communications to improve public health. In addition, they will support the roll-out of new diagnostic technologies for drug resistance monitoring and for more efficient TB diagnosis. There are three components to the project, the first component being assessment of each country’s diagnostic and surveillance capacity. The project will adopt the WHO’s step-wise laboratory accreditation process, which promotes practical and affordable quality management systems aimed at enhancing accountability and sustainability.

The component will provide targeted support to create and render functional the regional laboratory network. The second component is joint training and capacity building. The project will support training in a range of institutions in the four countries and across the region.

Finally, the third component is the joint operational research, knowledge sharing, regional coordination, and program management. Each country participating in the East Africa Public Health Laboratory Networking Project will become a center of excellence for a key aspect of the project.

Rwanda will take the lead on ICT and performance-based financing. Kenya will serve as a center for integrated disease surveillance and response, and operational research. Uganda will take the lead on laboratory networking and accreditation. Tanzania will develop high-quality training programs by providing practical training at its state of the art national health laboratory quality assurance and training centre and in-service training and post-graduate mentorships at the Muhimbili University of health and allied sciences.