One of the IHR Strengthening project activities is to capacitate laboratory services by enhancing the laboratory quality management system. The establishment of a process by which laboratories can achieve accreditation to international standards is an invaluable tool for countries to improve the quality of their laboratory services.

Towards this goal, the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI) with support from the UKHSA IHR Strengthening project provided ISO 15189:2012 medical laboratory standard training to national Influenza, Arbovirus and VHF reference laboratory staff from October 19th to 23rd  2021 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The training covered 15 managerial and 10 technical requirements of ISO 15189:2012. and a  “document control standard operating procedure” which is a basic policy on how to develop, manage and dispose of all documents in the laboratory.

All the requirements and arrangements for examination requests, patient preparation, patient identification, collection of samples, transportation, storage, processing and examination of clinical samples, supply management and quality control were included in the training together with subsequent interpretation, reporting and advice, and considerations of the safety and ethics in medical laboratory work.

Achieving, maintaining, and improving accurate, timely, and reliable laboratory results is important for the detection of, and response to, public health events of international concern.  The laboratory staff have committed to developing all required documents to ISO 15189:2021 standards and to implement these in their labs.