The 2018 edition of the African Society for Laboratory Medicine biennial conference – ASLM 2018 – is set to be held in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, from December 10 to 13, 2018. The theme of this year’s conference is: ‘Preventing and Controlling the Next Pandemic: The role of the laboratory’.
ASLM is an independent, pan-African professional body that coordinates, galvanises and mobilises relevant stakeholders towards improving access to world-class laboratory services. The body also has the mandate to ensure healthy African communities.
This year’s edition of the conference which will be held at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel will feature plenary, breakout and poster sessions, culminating in an awards ceremony on the last day of the event.
According to Prof Alash’le Abimiku, conference co-chair, the conference provides an avenue for strong collaborations with leading researchers which in turn paves the way for the development of new strategies and medical technologies. Speaking on the rationale for hosting the ASLM conference in Nigeria, she said: “By hosting conferences such as ASLM 2018 in Abuja, Nigeria, ASLM seeks to engage more closely with the community of laboratory medicine professionals from West Africa. This will be a platform for exchanging various experiences and ideas, for participation, coordination, and networking for future collaboration, and to further the development of skills for young professional. The goal is to ensure healthy African communities now and for the long-term.”
Areas of interest for the 2018 edition of ASLM include: providing information on the laboratory medicine landscape in the context of achieving international health regulation and universal health coverage in order to prevent the next pandemic. The discussions will aim at increasing awareness of opportunities to invest in diagnostics and in laboratory systems amongst private, public and philanthropic donors. The ASLM conference also serves as a platform for identifying the diagnostic needs that are specific to the African continent and for encouraging the creation of public-private partnerships to ensure further development of both African laboratories and African diagnostics companies.
This fourth edition of the biennial conference is expected to help further ASLM’s strategic objectives of:
- Strengthening laboratory workforce by training and certifying laboratory professionals and clinicians through standardised frameworks;
- Transforming laboratory testing quality by enrolling laboratories in quality improvement programmes to achieve accreditation by international standards;
- Developing strong, harmonised regulatory systems for diagnostic products as defined by the Global Harmonization Taskforce;
- Building a network of national public health reference laboratories to improve early disease detection and collaborative research;
- Disseminating results and best practices.
ASLM will achieve these goals by working collaboratively with governments, local and international organisations, implementing partners and the private sector. The ASLM conferences have traditionally provided a platform for these exchanges. ASLM2018 will build on the successes achieved in the first three editions and continue to provide opportunities and be instrumental in taking laboratory medicine to greater reaches.
ASLM is headquartered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and serves all African countries. It is endorsed by the African Union. All the details about the conference can be found at www.aslm2018.org.