A supranational reference laboratory is a laboratory that provides its services beyond national borders. The purpose of such a facility would be to complement in-country deficits in capacity. As such, The supranational reference laboratory Uganda serves as referral facility for national reference laboratories. We perform diagnostics deemed technically complex or that require equipment and human resource competencies that are not present in referring Member States. Examples include drug resistance testing for TB (MDR and XDR), and the detection of parasite resistance to medicines.
While our laboratories provide diagnostic services, the strengthening of national
reference laboratories are delegated to facilities with the requisite capacities. For convenience, those are termed “centres of excellence and expertise”.
Such centres retain the latitude to address areas of laboratory practice in which they have adequate expertise. They are not disease-oriented, but provide essential complementary functions for service delivery. Their mandate is to address some of the root causes of current deficits which include non discipline specific considerations, such as human resource development, specialised training, quality management
implementation and the establishment and harmonisation of systems of information collection and its management.
An SRL is a centre of excellence that achieves high technical and programmatic standards. In Africa, such labs are rare (The Uganda SRL is the only one in Sub-Saharan Africa) with consequent heavy reliance on Western Countries for support.