The Laboratory Systems Enhancement for AIDS Pandemic Control (LAPSEC) Program has been designed and will be implemented to achieve the purpose and strategies of the CDC Scaling High Quality Laboratory Services for HIV Diagnosis, Care, Treatment and Monitoring in Mozambique under the President?s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief PEPFAR (CDC-RFA-GH19-1938). LAPSEC program will provide direct technical assistance and support to enhance laboratory institutions capacity and lab technical personnel competences for more effective patient diagnosis and care monitoring to achieve the 95-95-95 goals through: 1) Scale-up of viral load/EID testing, 2) increase in access to comprehensive HIV-related testing services (HIV, VL, EID, TB), 3) improvement of quality of laboratory services through external and internal accreditation, 4) improving knowledge and proficiency for testing among laboratory and healthcare providers, and; 5) expansion and efficiency improvement of specimen and sample transportation and results transmission systems and infrastructure in the country. Potentially, 2.1 million people will benefit from the optimized laboratory diagnostic and monitoring services. In addition, laboratory technologists and staff including MOH program managers will benefit from LAPSEC supported training and systems strengthening activities.
The Center for International Health, Education, and Biosecurity (CIHEB) at the University of Maryland, Baltimore will serve as prime grantee, bringing 15 years of experience in providing and institutionalizing high-quality, comprehensive laboratory strengthening, comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention, care, treatment, health systems strengthening, evaluation, and population-based impact assessment programs throughout sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean. Our partner, GSS Health, is a specialized laboratory quality system strengthening and diagnostic testing organization, and under this program will support implementation of quality management and implementation of quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) for new technologies.
LAPSEC uses several cross-cutting approaches to ensure sustainability, transparency, and impact. Building on lessons learned in implementing similar lab programs in several countries including Kenya, Tanzania and Nigeria, and achievements so far made in the lab sector in Mozambique, and these are: All planning and interventions will be stakeholder owned and led. All program interventions will be situated within existing MOH structures, processes, programs, and systems. We will work from within MOH institutional frameworks alongside existing lab teams, HIV and TB/HIV service delivery teams, and M&E teams, at site, provincial, and national levels. Laboratory commodity forecasts and procurement planning will also follow national supply mechanisms. Key experts will be embedded within MOH structures at national, provincial, district, and facility level for day-to-day capacity building and transfer from Day One. In order to strengthen national capacity and cascade this to lower levels, we will work with MoH to strengthen TWGs for key scopes, including integrated quality management system (QMS)VL/EID TWG, POCT TWG, RTQII TWG, and Inter lab TWG to review EQA results & performance. We will collaborate with the MoH to perform an immediate desk review of existing policies, guidelines, and standards, determine gaps, and provide technical expert support to update and expedite operationalization at implementation level. The focus will be on: Quality Management Systems, Training and Retention of staff, Equipment Management Systems, Supply Chain Management Systems (SCMS), Laboratory Information System (LIS), Referral Networks, and Policy & Leadership Development. Demand for, and use of laboratory data will be institutionalized. All data will be collected based on existing and enhanced LIS, and data dashboards created for use at site, district, provincial, and national levels.