The 2014 – 2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa significantly affected Liberia’s national health system. The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) was awarded a five-year cooperative agreement to collaborate with the Government of Liberia to strengthen its health system. Under this agreement, ASM and its partners – MRIGlobal and Linda S. Barnes Consulting (LBC) – will integrate quality-assured laboratory diagnostic testing, infection prevention and control (IPC) practices, and blood transfusion practices into the health services network.
“We are excited to continue working with our partners to fortify Liberia’s health security and lessen the spread of infectious diseases across the country. Unique from any work ASM’s Global Public Health Programs (GPHP) team has done before, we are delving into infection prevention and control in an entirely new capacity, and we are venturing into the blood space for the first time,” said Dr. Mark Lim, GPHP Director.
By focusing on three strategic areas – laboratory strengthening, IPC, and increased access to safe blood transfusion services – the project aims to reduce the burden of disease from public health threats across Liberia by establishing a cadre of trained Liberian public health leaders. These local champions will be equipped to train their colleagues on critical technical and bench-level skills and will increase public awareness and engagement in blood donation.
“Leveraging the expertise of MRIGlobal to hone in on infection prevention and control and LBC’s deep experience and extensive network in the blood space, we hope to provide sustainable and comprehensive advancements to Liberia’s healthcare system,” said Lim.