Laboratory Capacity Innovations at Makerere University College of Health Sciences Infectious Diseases Institute

Innovations and investment in laboratory technology by Makerere University College of Health Sciences have improved diagnosis and follow up of patients, especially HIV/AIDS patients in Uganda.
IDI MakCHS Lab innovationsAccording to the Head of Laboratory Services Makerere University-Johns Hopkins University Core Lab (Infectious Diseases Institute, Dr. Ali Elbireer, in Uganda currently the Infectious Diseases Institute at the Makerere University College of Health Sciences has the best laboratory technology in the country.

One of the key outcomes of innovations the College has been involved in is the establishment of the Makerere University-Johns Hopkins University (MU-JHU) Core Laboratory, which was the second College of Medical Pathology laboratory on the African continent; the first one being in South Africa.

In Uganda today, there are three American College of Medical Pathology-accredited laboratories in; two of them on Makerere University campus. ÔÇ£Makerere does have the same level of knowledge and quality of laboratory services as in the developed worldÔÇØ, Dr. Elbireer emphasised.

ÔÇ£We have brought in the latest instruments and will upgrade them as time goes on, and today the level of service offered to especially HIV patients is no different from what is offered elsewhere in the worldÔÇØ, he added.

The instrumentation IDI has is fully automated, very expensive and is being operated very well in the Ugandan environment and kept up-to-date.
To spread the quality of services to all Ugandans, IDI has created off-shoot laboratories that piggy-back on the core laboratory; these are located in districts where IDI is offering services.

Putting the best equipment in place without the right calibre of manpower to operate it, may be bad investment; IDI has therefore designed training for laboratory technicians that matches the quality and level of capacity of the laboratories.