In 2012, TASO received support from CDC to establish a Laboratory Hub in Tororo Hospital to strengthen laboratory systems in the Districts of Jinja, Manafwa, and Tororo. The Hub has since continued to play an important role in enhancing the quality of clinical laboratory services for better disease management and control in the sub region as well as support in research and knowledge generation. The key activities of the hub include the following;
Conducting training and mentorship of laboratory personnel from 58 participating PHF as well as TASO service Centres. These training interventions enhance the competencies of the lab staff to deliver quality services for enhanced were in the following areas;
- Quality sampling,
- SLMTA among others
The hub has engaged in the process for its accreditation process with Strengthening Laboratory Management toward Accreditation (SLMTA). It carried out over 12 SLMTA projects that earned it a STAR 2 status. This achievement has paved way for the hub to participate in future assessments that are anticipated go well given the commitment to attain greater status. The hub’s next target is to participate in an international assessment by the African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM).
The hub conducts bio-risk management in in 58 PHF in the districts of Jinja, Manafwa and Tororo. This service is augmented by bio-risk training and placement of laboratory personnel for hands on experience and mentorship at the hub.
The hub is also engaged in Laboratory quality management system, providing technical support and supervision to 58 PHF in the following areas; Internal quality assurance (IQC), External quality assurance (EQA), Safety best practices, Stores and inventory management, Work area management, Records and documentation. This has resulted into increase adherence to standard operating procedures and thus improved quality of service delivery.
The laboratory hub receives samples shipped from the PHF s and conducts laboratory tests which include; Cluster of Differentiation 4 (CD4), Complete Blood Count (CBC) and Chemistry. The samples are shipped from the PHF using an organized transportation network using motorcycles.
The hub also participates in field activities including collecting referral samples to Central Public Health Laboratories (CPHL) and these are EID/DBS, GeneXpert/TB, and viral load samples. Besides, it also collects screening for sickle cell and samples for EQA samples for testing at UVRI. The results received from these referral laboratories are distributed to the respective units.