DATOS just completed its third support mission to the Njala University Serology and Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory in Sierra Leone. This laboratory was constructed to provide diagnostic services for viral haemorrhagic fevers, rabies and influenza, and to conduct research in animal and human health.

The purpose of the mission was to guide the implementation of a quality management system based on phases 1 and 2 of WHO’s Laboratory Quality Stepwise Implementation (LQSI) tool, and was conducted as part of the project ‘Preparedness against Ebola and other emerging infectious diseases in Sierra Leone and Guinea’ led by the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT), the Netherlands, and funded by the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Accra, Ghana.

DATOS’s first activity in Njala, conducted in October 2016, was to train laboratory staff members on principles of quality management and introduce them to the LQSI tool. This was followed by a technical assistance mission in January 2017, during which staff were trained on Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) preparation, and the laboratory was assessed according to the LQSI checklist. Activities during the latest mission included finalisation of the SOPs prepared by staff, and the introduction of a document control system.