By Dipo Olowookere
All is now set for the maiden edition of the African Society for Laboratory Medicine Conference (ASLM 2018)) taking place in Abuja from December 10 to 13, 2018 and themed ‘Preventing and Controlling the Next Pandemic: The role of the laboratory’.
ASLM is an independent, pan-African professional body that coordinates, galvanises and mobilises relevant stakeholders towards improving access to world-class laboratory services. The body also has the mandate to ensure healthy African communities.
This year’s edition of the conference, which will hold at the Transcorp Hotel, will feature plenary, breakout and poster sessions, culminating in an awards ceremony on the last day of the event.
According to Ms Bethanie Rammer, Communications Manager, ASLM, the conference provides an avenue for strong collaborations with leading researchers which in turn paves the way for the development of new strategies and medical technologies.
Speaking on the rationale for hosting the ASLM conference in Nigeria, she said, “By hosting conferences such as ASLM 2018 in Abuja, Nigeria, ASLM seeks to change the way that medical research is conducted.
“This will be a platform for various contributions, participation, co-ordination, training and development of skills for future collaborations. The goal is to ensure healthy African communities now and for the long-term.”
Areas of interest for the 2018 edition of the ASLM include: providing information on the laboratory medicine landscape and needs in Africa; increasing awareness of opportunities to invest in laboratory medicine amongst private, public and philanthropic donors.
The ASLM conference also seeks to facilitate networking among participants and encourage the creation of public-private partnerships to ensure further development of both African laboratories and African diagnostics companies.
This year’s edition of the biennial conference, which is the fourth, is expected to help achieve the ASLM’s 2020 goals of: strengthening laboratory workforce by training and certifying laboratory professionals and clinicians through standardised frameworks and transforming laboratory testing quality by enrolling laboratories in quality improvement programmes to achieve accreditation by international standards.
Other objectives which the body aims to have achieved by 2020 also include: developing strong, harmonised regulatory systems for diagnostic products as defined by the Global Harmonization Taskforce and building a network of national public health reference laboratories to improve early disease detection and collaborative research.
The ASLM aims to achieve these goals by working collaboratively with governments, local and international organisations, implementing partners and the private sector.
The 2018 ASLM conference aims to improve on the successes achieved in the first three editions which were held in Cape Town, South Africa.
ASLM is headquartered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and serves all African countries. It is endorsed by the African Union.
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