Date: From November 2022 to August 2024
Countries: Cambodia

IQLS in consortium with managment4health is implementing a 2 year project Improving laboratory capacities in the health sector for quality-assured diagnostics in Cambodia within the GIZ program: Improving Social Protection and Health (ISPH), with the aim to provide access to quality laboratory diagnostic services to the Cambodian population.

In collaboration with key government stakeholders, the project takes a multi-pronged approach that addresses laboratory system strengthening at the policy and strategic level while also strengthening the hospital clinical laboratories.  

A project office within the GIZ premises has been opened to welcome IQLS national staff, both short- and long-term hired for this project. The team is focused on the following work packages:  

  • Laboratory System Strengthening: A national regulatory framework is essential, including policy and strategy for laboratory quality improvement for professional standards and competencies. Under the leadership of the Ministry of Health, ISPH focuses on ownership, transparency, interaction, and coordination among all key partners and stakeholders to develop, update and revise policies and guiding documents. Another focus is on the improvement of the Cambodian Laboratory Information System (CamLIS) with the aim to optimize user-friendliness, performance, data security, and utilization of laboratory data. With the National Institute of Public health (NIPH), ISPH will strengthen the National External Quality Assessment (EQA) program- a core element of Laboratory Quality Management Systems (LQMS)
  • Implementation of Quality Management Systems (QMS) in 12 national and provincial referral hospital laboratories: Achieving and maintaining accuracy and reliability are major challenges in laboratories. Management of quality enables countries to produce test results that earn the national and international communities’ trust. Under the leadership of the Bureau of Medical Laboratory Services (BMLS), the project is strengthening the capacity of Cambodia’s laboratory network with the implementation of the Cambodian Laboratory Quality Management System (CamLQMS). 

In order to help build capacity in the select laboratories, collaborative learning and peer reviews (both virtually and hands-on) are taking place. These trainings allow the laboratory teams to share knowledge and ideas on how to resolve challenges.  

The project aims also to support institutionalization of the mentorship and CamLQMS assessment approach. The role of the LQMS mentors will be to visit and supervise sites to provide support for the implementation of QMS, while the LQMS assessors will evaluate sites by implementing the Cambodia Laboratory Quality Management System (CamLQMS) checklist for accreditation.
In addition, IQLS will train a pool of selected assessor using an accepted AST capacity assessment tool and conduct baseline AST capacity assessments at two AMR Surveillance sentinel sites. 

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