Uganda Ministry of Health Recognizes SUSTAIN for Outstanding Contribution to Lab Sector

June 18, 2013 - The Uganda Ministry of Health (MOH) awarded USAID’s Strengthening Uganda’s Systems for Treating AIDS Nationally (SUSTAIN) project a certificate of recognition for its outstanding performance and contribution to the country’s health laboratory sector.  This is the second award presented to SUSTAIN for the project’s contribution in laboratory medical service delivery. The first was the Khadil award, presented in March 2013 by the Uganda Medical Laboratory Technology Association.

Recognition Certificate

Since 2010, the SUSTAIN project has enhanced the quality of HIV diagnosis, care, and treatment through health care service provider skills’ strengthening, quality improvement (QI), laboratory accreditation support, and improving laboratory infrastructure and installation of equipment. Between April‒June 2013, over 202,580 HIV-related laboratory tests were conducted within project-supported laboratories at 18 public hospitals, representing a 50 percent increase in overall tests than in Jan-March Quarter 2013.

Working with the MOH Quality Assurance Department and the USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) project, SUSTAIN uses QI principles to support regional referral and general hospitals in making their service delivery processes more efficient and effective. Laboratories at these hospitals function as referral hubs for respective regions, effectively contributing to the Ministry's countrywide laboratory sample and results processing and transportation network.

to the Ministry’s countrywide laboratory sample and results processing and transportation network.

Several SUSTAIN-supported laboratories are participating in the  Strengthening Laboratory Management Towards Accreditation (SLMTA) initiative. Led by the World Health Organization African Region Office, SLMTA is a framework for improving the quality of laboratory services in developing countries. SUSTAIN works with the Ministry and other partners to facilitate laboratories’ participation in the SLMTA program and supports routine laboratory process improvement activities at laboratories that are not yet enrolled in the SLMTA program.

SUSTAIN supports laboratory infrastructure strengthening at 21 high-volume health facilities across Uganda. Together with hospital management teams and the MOH Infrastructure 

Department, the project has completed laboratory renovations and space improvement activities at eight hospitals (Gulu, Moroto, Mbale, Jinja, Mubende, Kabale, Fort Portal and Hoima), with renovations activities still ongoing at Lira, Soroti, Gombe and Arua hospitals.

By the conclusion of SUSTAIN in 2015, all project-supported hospitals are intended to have fully functioning laboratories, improving their capacity to meet the need for high-quality, health and HIV-related laboratory services. University Research Co., LLC (URC) manages SUSTAIN in collaboration with the MOH, the AIDS Support Organization (TASO), Integrated Community Based Initiatives (ICOBI), Health Research Inc. (HRI), and Initiatives Inc. 


By SUSTAIN team with contributions from Julian Natukunda, Communications Specialist, Bernadeta M. Nagita, Executive and Communications Assistant, Olivera Stojanovic, Program Officer; and Fridah Wanjiku, Communications Intern