Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) implemented, SHaRING, a project targeted at building sustainable and highly trained human resources in health care, through pre and in-service laboratory trainings. The trainings are to ensure high quality laboratory tests to support HIV prevention, care and treatment programs in Nigeria. The project supported laboratory systems strengthening by addressing two main areas for capacity building; Pre-service laboratory training and In-service laboratory trainings. The project was funded by United States Government Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEFPFAR) through Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with Professor Alash'le Abimiku as Principal Investigator. It was implemented between October 2012 and September 2016.
The Pre-service component of the project carried out curriculum development and capacity building forthe laboratory workforce under-going training in academic institutions and tertiary institutions for the Medical Laboratory Science Internship program. The focus was to have comprehensive and integrated curricular that adequately addressed HIV/AIDS and co-infection laboratory needs and reflected relevant sections of the National HIV/AIDS laboratory guideline.
The In-service component dealt with capacity building for the laboratory workforce that is already providing services in various capacities at different levels of health care facilities. The aim was to improve the quality and reliability of HIV and TB test results used for diagnosis and monitoring of HIV/TB care and treatment and their co-morbidities.
IHVN collaborated with key stakeholders such as the Government of Nigeria (GoN): FMoH-HIV/AIDS Division (HAD), Medical Lab Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN), Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN), 20 universities and 47 colleges offering medical laboratory science program, GoN tertiary health facilities for medical laboratory science internship program; Partners Implementing the HIV and TB program, the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL), Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI), African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM) and General and Health Logistics International Limited (GHLI-L) to execute of the activities.
The trainings covered; basic TB smear microscopy, HIV/AIDS diagnosis and monitoring, basic equipment maintenance, laboratory quality management Systems, bio-repository, supply chain management, HIV molecular techniques , TB molecular techniques and TB Culture. All trainings were conducted at IHVN supported training centers located in Abuja, Jos, Zaria, Ife and Kano.
Development of a survey tool for pre-service training needs assessment: IHVN worked with the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) and the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN) to develop a standardized tool for assessment of basic and post-basic HIV/AIDS and co-infection laboratory pre-service training needs. This tool was used for assessing the capacity and pre-service training needs in 20 universities and 47 colleges of health technology offering the medical laboratory science programs; and remains a useful tool for the nation’s ability to continue to monitor and evaluate these institutions of learning.
Development of 'National Guidelines for HIV diagnosis and Medical Laboratory Monitoring of HIV/AIDS Clients on Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART): Under the leadership of the FMoH/HAD, IHVN worked with APHL, MLSCN, AMLSN, NACA, NLTWG and Universities/Colleges of health technology offering medical laboratory science program to finalize the draft National HIV/AIDS laboratory guideline which was adopted by the FMoH. IHVN produced 500 copies for initial dissemination to stakeholders, health facilities and training institutions.
Improved curricula for medical laboratory science education: Thirteen Universities/ Colleges of health technology are currently implementing improved curricula based on the revised national laboratory guideline, feedback received from IHVN and MLSCN on the summary reports of pre-service survey and capacity building for faculty staff. These institutions have graduated 834 based on the improved curricula.
Award of CPD credits to SHaRING trainings: The SHARING negotiated successfully that all trainings conducted under SHaRING were accredited by the MLSCN for award of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) credit units.
Improved medical laboratory science internship program: SHaRING collaborated with MLSCN to identify gaps in the current medical lab science internship training program in Nigeria; especially in the areas of Quality Management Systems (QMS), GCLP and advanced HIV molecular techniques. In order to address these gaps, SHaRING collaborated with the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Hospitals Management Board, Plateau State Health Management Board, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ife, Federal Medical Center Asaba, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Jos University Teaching Hospital and University of Abuja Teaching Hospital (UATH), Gwagwalada to train a total of 282 internship students on QMS, GCLP and advanced HIV/TB molecular techniques. The students were also provided with opportunities to carry out rotational practical postings at IHVN supported molecular laboratories.
Provision of teaching aids to institutions: SHaRING provided projectors to all 67 institutions offering medical lab science as part of efforts to upgrade learning and facilitate communication.
Capacity building for faculty staff; SHaRING trained a total of 359 faculty staff from all the universities and colleges of health education on adult learning principles and teaching methodologies, Good Clinical Laboratory Practice (GCLP), and Quality Management System (QMS) and HIV molecular techniques/CD4 testing so as to strengthen the capacity of faculty staff to teach HIV/AIDS related content in order to implement an improved curriculum in line with the revised national HIV laboratory guideline. Training materials and resources to improve the content of the curricula were provided for all the institutions.
In-service training: A total of 2,779 laboratory personnel from Implementing Partners and GoN have been trained over the four-year period on Basic HIV diagnosis and monitoring, Basic TB smear microscopy, Basic equipment maintenance, supply chain management, Good Laboratory Practices Sample collection and Processing, Quality Management System, Bio-repository, Advanced HIV molecular techniques, Advanced TB molecular techniques and TB culture.
University Research Company (URC), Enugu, Center for Integrated Health Programme (CIHP),
Catholic Caritas Foundation of Nigeria (CCFN), Excellence Community Education Welfare Scheme (ECEWS), Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria, FMoH-HIV/AIDS Division, National Blood Transfusion Service and Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria.
TABLE 1: SUMMARY OF TRAINING FIGURES FOR YEAR 1
Basic HIV diagnosis and monitoring
Basic TB microscopy
Basic Equipment maintenance
Supply Chain Management
Laboratory Quality Management Systems
Quality Management Systems Improvement
Advanced HIV Molecular techniques
Advanced TB Molecular techniques
SHaRING is also supporting the government of Nigeria to provide improved, integrated and comprehensive national laboratory curricula for pre and in-service Medical Laboratory Science education by leveraging on existing national resources, strengthening government institutions and building local capacity; eventually leading to strong local institutions and a well-trained laboratory workforce.
This project is funded by the United States President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) project,through Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with Professor Alash'le Abimiku as Principal Investigator.