The overall goal of the laboratory management component was to ensure that medical laboratory operations were optimized. Very critical was the strategy of involving as wide a multisectoral stakeholder group as was feasible at the national level to ensure collaborative decision-making, strategic and operational planning, appointment of laboratory quality managers, and increased focus on the implementation of laboratory quality systems. Project targets included laboratory equipment maintenance and procurement, improved quality management systems and microbiology diagnostic capacity. Advocating for the designation of a focal point person to oversee and lead each laboratory’s quality effort was also a key Project strategy. At the national level the Project strongly advised that National Laboratory Advisory Committees should be appointed as the overseer of good laboratory practice and performance.
The major achievements of this component were:
- The establishment of multi-sectoral and multidisciplinary National Laboratory Advisory Committees (NLAC) in 20 of the 23 participating countries to guide and support national medical laboratory operations
- The appointment or designation of Quality Coordinators or Managers in over 60% of laboratories directly participating in the Project’s strengthening interventions – an increase of approximately 30% over the life of the Project.
- The development of strategic plans by in-country multisectoral stakeholder groups for guiding the structuring and delivery of medical laboratory services in 16 of 23 Project countries
- Production of regional procurement and inventory management guidelines and training of procurement and laboratory personnel
- Formation of Biomedical Professionals Association of the Caribbean (BiPAC)
- Development of Microbiology standard methods
- Assessment of infrastructure (human, physical and material) in 11 cytology laboratories and readiness for practice of cyto-screeners trained in Martinique and home country.
The Major divisions of this component were: