Program builds on MRIGlobal infection protection and control expertise in post-Ebola crisis Liberia
The 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa significantly affected Liberia’s national health system. MRIGlobal, in partnership with the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) and Linda S. Barnes Consulting, will integrate quality-assured laboratory diagnostic testing, infection prevention and control (IPC) practices, and blood transfusion practices into Liberia’s health services network. The program is funded by a five-year cooperative agreement awarded to ASM by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to collaborate with the government of Liberia to strengthen its health system.
“MRIGlobal has been in Liberia since 2014 building post-Ebola laboratory capacity and conducting diagnostic test training,” said Dr. Lance Presser, Principal Scientist in the Global Engagement Program, MRIGlobal. “It has been an exciting challenge to build a new National Public Health Reference Laboratory (NPHRL) in Monrovia, train the staff there, and integrate the NPHRL with the decentralized health network in small communities. Our network is intertwined with ASM’s as a number of us are members and we often cross paths in our global health work. We are thrilled to work with them in Liberia on a mission we are both deeply committed to.”
The project focuses on three strategic areas – laboratory capacity strengthening, IPC, and increased access to safe blood transfusion services – to reduce the burden of disease from public health threats across Liberia. The project team will establish a cadre of trained Liberian public health leaders who will be equipped to train their colleagues on critical clinical, technical and bench-level skills and will increase public awareness and engagement in blood donation.
“Leveraging the expertise of MRIGlobal to address infection prevention and control and Linda Barnes Consulting’s deep experience and extensive network in the blood space, we plan to provide sustainable and comprehensive advancements to Liberia’s healthcare system,” said Dr. Mark Lim, ASM’s Global Public Health Programs Director.