SILVER SPRING, MD--(Marketwire - September 2, 2010) -  A new laboratory, designed and built in accordance with international guidelines, opened September 1 in Maseru, Lesotho. The Makoanyane Military Hospital Laboratory now offers an expanded testing menu, including CD4 and Acid Fast Bacilli microscopy, and separate rooms dedicated to specimen reception, microbiology, chemistry, hematology and CD4 testing. The formerly limited, one-room hospital lab was transformed through a collaborative effort of The US Department of Defense and CDC's Global AIDS Program to support the Lesotho Defense Force's facility.

The Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) provided on-site support and technical assistance to the Lesotho Defense Force, the agency that operates the military hospital, through its cooperative agreement with CDC/GAP in support of PEPFAR.

Senior APHL consultant Kim Lewis worked on-site in Maseru on laboratory design, procurement of equipment and supplies, renovation oversight, organizing laboratory workflow and operations, staff development and initial steps toward WHO Accreditation through implementation of the Strengthening Laboratory Management Towards Accreditation Program. 

APHL will continue to support the new facility by implementing a quality system to assure accurate, reliable and timely test results.

"The laboratory provides access to testing services for a population with high rates of TB and HIV, and enables medical providers to effectively treat these diseases," said Lewis. "The success of this collaboration is measured in the improved health of the people of Lesotho. The new lab will hopefully affect the well-being of families and lead to a better future for their children. We expect it to serve as a model for other countries."

The Association of Public Health Laboratories is a national non-profit located in Silver Spring, MD, that is dedicated to working with members to strengthen governmental laboratories with a public health mandate. By promoting effective programs and public policy, APHL strives to provide public health laboratories with the resources and infrastructure needed to protect the health of US residents and to prevent and control disease globally.

Contact Information:

Michelle M. Forman