Baylor College of Medicine
Children’s Foundation - Uganda

Laboratory Systems Strengthening

Since 2007, Baylor Foundation Uganda, with funding from CDC and USAID, has been supporting the Ministry of Health to build a laboratory network with the capacity to provide diagnostic and surveillance services. Baylor Foundation Uganda uses the Strengthening Laboratory Management Towards Accreditation (SLMTA) approach to train labs to implement the Laboratory Quality Management System (LQMS) and attain international accreditation status. Baylor Foundation Uganda also supports laboratory infrastructure refurbishment and equipment procurement, laboratory equipment management through subgrants to two regional laboratory equipment workshops, supply chain management, biosafety and biosecurity, and a robust specimen referral and transportation system. The laboratory capacity-building program is implemented through training, mentorships and quality assurance in collaboration with Uganda MOH’s National Health Laboratory System (UNHLS). Through this capacity, the laboratory network is able to deliver quality results to inform clinical decisions, early detection and response to disease outbreaks.’

Surveillance

Baylor Uganda works in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and other partners to strengthen surveillance systems that are able to detect events of public health significance early to facilitate a timely response. We support surveillance by providing both financial and technical resources for the development and review of national guidelines, support both national and subnational training in surveillance, and second technical staff to both the National Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) and the Department of Integrated Epidemiology, Surveillance and Public Health Emergencies (IES&PHEs) of Ministry of Health. This support is aligned to the IHR core capacity requirements for surveillance including; ensuring a functional surveillance system to identify potential events of concern for public health and health security is in place; the surveillance system is supported by electronic tools, and supporting systematic analysis of surveillance data for action.

 Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response

Since 2020, together with other stakeholders, we have provided technical assistance to the MoH to strengthen surveillance systems. We supported the development of the National Integrated Epidemiology Surveillance and Response Strategic Plan 2021-2025, adaptation and rollout of the 3rd edition Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) Strategy, a framework for implementing indicator and event-based surveillance.

 

Event-Based Surveillance

Baylor Foundation Uganda is supporting MoH in the implementation of electronic tools in surveillance in the following ways:

Sentinel Surveillance

Baylor Foundation Uganda is championing the routine analysis and utilization of data for action including monitoring, evaluating, and improving policies, programs, and services and facilitating the better allocation of resources.

Achievements

Uganda Public Health Fellowship Program – Laboratory Leadership Program

Uganda Public Health Fellowship Program – Laboratory Leadership Program (UPHFP-LLP), aligned to Global Laboratory Leadership Program (GLLP) and Uganda Public Health Fellowship Program (UPHFP) structures, is a 2-year post masters fellowship program. It is implemented by Ministry of Health with support from United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC), Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL), Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH) and Baylor College of Medicine Children’s Foundation Uganda (Baylor Uganda). The program is housed at the Uganda National Institute of Public health (UNIPH) and is one of the six tracks at the institute. The other tracks include, Field Epidemiology, Health Informatics, Health Economics (Prevention Effectiveness), Implementation Science, and Monitoring and Evaluation. Currently, it’s Field Epidemiology, Laboratory Leadership and Health Informatics tracks that are fully functional. The UPHFP-LLP aims at developing competent workforce of laboratory leaders able to build and sustain the national laboratory system that effectively and efficiently respond to human, animal, and environmental health challenges in Uganda.

Objectives

  1. To build laboratory workforce capacity in the laboratory skills and knowledge to detect and contain public health emergencies in the communities.
  2. To establish competent laboratory leaders that can ensure quality laboratory services in response to emerging and re-emerging diseases in Humans, animals and Environmen
  3. To produce quality laboratory and field data to guide disease control, planning and policy.

Core competencies for UPHFP-LLP

Sn Core competency
1.      Laboratory system
2.      Disease surveillance and outbreak investigation
3.      Emergency preparedness, response and recovery
4.      Biosafety and biosecurity
5.      Leadership
6.      Management
7.      Communication
8.      Quality management system
9.      Research

Deliverables for UPHFP-LLP

Sn Deliverable
1.      Policy/guideline review/development
2.      Scientific article critique
3.      Public health event investigation/response
4.      Project implementation
5.      Article writing
6.      Report writing