DATOS facilitated a one-day workshop on national laboratory policy and
strategic plan development at the Southern African Member States Meeting on
Strengthening Laboratory Systems and Networks
, organized by Africa CDC and ASLM from 2 to 4 May in
Lusaka, Zambia. Nine southern African countries
attended this important meeting, where the representatives of countries were
introduced to the methodology of national laboratory policy and strategic plan
development and formulated objectives for
developing a national laboratory policy and strategic plan under the OneHealth approach for their own
country.

Development
of a national laboratory policy and strategic plan is
a crucial step for countries to take the lead in laboratory systems
strengthening and assure rational use of resources, strong and reliable
communication and referral systems, secure and proper information management,
and strong outbreak surveillance, to mention just a few. Hence, laboratory
systems strengthening, based on a national laboratory policy and strategic
plan, is a pivotal activity for implementation of the revised International
Health Regulations (2005) and increasing laboratory testing capacity for
Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) testing.