In collaboration with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), IQLS conducted a risk and needs assessment for COVID-19 outbreak preparedness at the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL)’s virology/molecular biology laboratory in Monrovia, Liberia. The mission took place on 28 to 31 January 2020, and was led by Dr. Antoine Pierson, IQLS Chief Scientific Officer.

A checklist was used for this purpose, adapted by IQLS and based on the WHO checklist for the MERS-CoV outbreak in 2012.

A 3-week, short-term plan of action was prepared to help deal with eventual cases of Coronavirus in Liberia. With over 50 attendees involved, the plan was presented to all participating stakeholders in response and preparedness, including the following organizations:

  • NPHIL (lead)
  • Ministry of Health/NDD, Representative from the Office of the Vice President
  • WHO
  • FAO
  • US CDC
  • GIZ
  • Partners in Health (PIH)
  • Riders for Health International (RFHI)
  • IQLS
  • WASH
  • MRI Global

Training materials were also reviewed for the pre-analytical phase (naso-pharyngeal swabbing for outbreak diagnosis).

At the same time, IQLS Senior Lab Specialist Dr. Shruti Malik, based full time in Monrovia, organized a one day simulation exercise on the MERS outbreak, another Coronavirus that created an outbreak in 2012, developed by IQLS.

In total, 12 regional laboratory specialists participated and each received simulation workshop materials.

Example of workshop material: