The Uganda SRL’s mandate as specified in its agreement with the WHO is to perform a number of tasks as stipulated below:
Programmatically, the SRL:
• Coordinates and prospectively communicates with Stop TB’s Partnership’s workgroup, the GLI and its technical partners, NRLs and National TB Programs (NTPs) to facilitate implementation of WHO policy guidance on TB diagnostics and Laboratory norms and standards, while respecting relevant national laws and regulations.
• Supports the integration of quality TB diagnostic services for the purpose of providing prompt and accurate results to patients according to the International Standard of Care with national laboratory strategic plans, incorporating cross cutting laboratory issues including supply management, specimen transport, and referral and human resource development.
• Advocates for TB laboratory worker protection with use of current WHO TB bio-safety recommendations.
• Supports the development of monitoring and evaluation indicators starting with a good data management system.
• Provides guidance on and builds quality management systems for a process towards NRL’s achieving accreditation nationally, internationally or both.
Technically, the SRL:
Serves as the focal point for coordination of technical assistance to NRLs (or equivalent) to enable:
• Proficiency monitoring of drug susceptibility testing of M.tuberculosis.
• The provision of guidance to NRL microscopy networks on implementation of quality assured AFB microscopy.
• Support to countries with technical assistance to develop capacity and proficiency in performing conventional and new WHO endorsed technologies including:
Culture and identification methods
Drug susceptibility testing (phenotypic and molecular methods)
• Assistance and collaboration in the development of drug resistance survey (DRS) protocols, data validation, and quality assurance as required.
• Provision of testing against second-line drugs (for both patient management and surveillance purposes) until NRLs establish capacity.
• On-site technical training or in-house training of laboratory staff as needed.
• Provision of operational research, as relevant; including the introduction of new laboratory tools.