In my last post I wrote about how Lab Week was being celebrated around the world. In that post I mentioned two medical laboratory associations that are up and coming in their respective countries and working hard to provide a voice for laboratory professionals. These organizations are the Association Ivoirienne de Biologie Technique (l’AIBT) in Cote d’Ivoire and the Medical Laboratory Scientists Association of Tanzania (MeLSAT). These two organizations are among a growing group in Africa recognizing the importance of professional associations to provide a voice, educational resources, and other tools for medical laboratory professionals.
Over the past few years the Centers for Disease Control has been a leader in helping facilitate the development of the African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM). According to the ASLM website, the organization “is a pan-African professional body working to advocate for the critical role and needs of laboratory medicine and networks throughout Africa.” ASLM provides membership opportunities, continuing education, publishes a journal, and implements the WHO AFRO framework for improving medical laboratories in Africa called SLIPTA (Stepwise Laboratory Quality Improvement Process Towards Accreditation).
While ASLM focuses on providing services and member benefits across the African continent, L’AIBT and MeLSAT serve the local communities in their respective countries. You can find more information about l’AIBT on their facebook page, which features photos and posts on l’AIBT activities in Cote d’Ivoire and their website. For more information on MeLSAT, you can visit their website, which also has a job postings page for lab professionals looking for opportunities in Tanzania. Both organizations have benefited from mentorship support from ASCP and have begun a dialogue with each other to exchange information and best practices. As they continue to develop and grow they will be important resources for local laboratory professionals and can provide an important network of professionals throughout the continent.
-Marie Levy spent over five years working at American Society for Clinical Pathology in the Global Outreach department.