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Laboratory equipment maintenance: A critical bottleneck for strengthening health systems in sub-Saharan Africa?

Authors
  • Fonjungo, Peter N1
  • Kebede, Yenew1
  • Messele, Tsehaynesh2
  • Ayana, Gonfa2
  • Tibesso, Gudeta2
  • Abebe, Almaz2
  • Nkengasong, John N3
  • Kenyon, Thomas1
  • 1 Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Global HIV/AIDS, PO Box 1014 Entoto Road, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia , Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)
  • 2 Ethiopian Health and Nutrition Research Institute, PO Box 1242, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia , Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)
  • 3 Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Global HIV/AIDS, Atlanta, GA, 30333, USA , Atlanta (United States)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Public Health Policy
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Publication Date
Nov 10, 2011
Volume
33
Issue
1
Pages
34–45
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1057/jphp.2011.57
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

Properly functioning laboratory equipment is a critical component for strengthening health systems in developing countries. The laboratory can be an entry point to improve population health and care of individuals for targeted diseases – prevention, care, and treatment of TB, HIV/AIDS, and malaria, plus maternal and neonatal health – as well as those lacking specific attention and funding. We review the benefits and persistent challenges associated with sustaining laboratory equipment maintenance. We propose equipment management policies as well as a comprehensive equipment maintenance strategy that would involve equipment manufacturers and strengthen local capacity through pre-service training of biomedical engineers. Strong country leadership and commitment are needed to assure development and sustained implementation of policies and strategies for standardization of equipment, and regulation of its procurement, donation, disposal, and replacement.

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