Projects: Collaborate.Health

Recruit, Train, Sustain: Laboratory Systems Strengthening in Cameroon

Establishing an external quality assessment center to improve medical laboratory testing

Agency Partner
Global Health Systems Solutions
Program Design for Global Health
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Limited medical laboratory testing in Central Africa contributes to challenges in identifying and treating infectious disease. In collaboration with Global Health Systems Solutions, a program proposal was developed to establish an External Quality Assessment Program and improve laboratory quality control testing.


Infectious diseases are a major contributor to mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. Timely testing can help caregivers identify and treat known diseases, but medical laboratory testing in the region is limited by infrastructural barriers. These barriers include insufficient monitoring of test quality, limited numbers of skilled personnel and educators, and limited governmental standards for laboratory training.

External Quality Assessment Programs (EQAP) are designed to address these barriers by providing quality control testing and mentoring to meet ISO 15-189 standards. No EQAP exists in the central African region.


Cameroon-based Global Health Systems Solutions (GHSS) provides services to 1,182 laboratories located in Cameroon and other parts of the Central African region. GHSS seeks to scale its services to establish an official EQAP, but limited access to sustainable funding for training, staffing, and equipment prevents GHSS from establishing an EQAP.


The goal of the program is for GHSS to emerge as a leader in health systems testing by building a sustainable EQAP capable of providing and monitoring a wide range of laboratory assays in all laboratories in the Central African region to meet ISO 15-189 standards. To achieve this, the student consultant team designed a program to expand personnel, train team members throughout the Central African region, and provide QA monitoring to laboratories participating in the program.


The team created a project proposal for establishing an EQAP for laboratories in Central Africa that included program goals and objectives, a logic model, budget, and sustainability plan. An EQAP will help infectious disease testing laboratories to meet international quality assurance standards, and improved implementation will decrease the risk of death for the individuals receiving laboratory services as well as minimize wasted time, money, and other resources. Additionally, once the laboratories meet ISO standards, their credibility will increase and they will have more opportunities for financial support from prospective donors.

Project Timeline

This project took four months to complete from kick-off meeting to presentation of final deliverables. Click the button below for a detailed timeline.

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