On September 30, a workshop was held in Phnom Penh to present the SEALAB action-plan in Cambodia to the project’s members and stakeholders.
Dr. Sorn San Deputy Director of GDAHP and H.E. Dr Kimcheng Hok Director General of the MoH gave the opening speeches. Dr. Sorn San stressed the importance of endemic zoonotic diseases in Cambodia, like rabies and bird flu, and the concern about emerging diseases that cause substantial economic burdens like LSD and ASF. He highlighted the scarcity of a network of provincial veterinary labs which need to be reactivated, especially in terms of capacity building. Finally, Dr. Sorn San welcomed the ‘One Health’ approach of the SEALAB project and stressed the need to develop guidelines for a common sample transportation system.
Dr Kimcheng Hok firstly emphasized how health laboratory services are a critical component of strong national health systems as they play a central role in individual patient diagnosis and care, disease surveillance and control, and in the context of the COVID-19 crisis, which makes the SEALAB project more critical than ever. Dr Kimcheng Hok recalled the importance of improving the Quality Management System and moving to an accreditation process, even it remains a distant goal for many laboratories. Lastly, he expressed satisfaction that the Action-Plan was developed jointly by human and animal health sectors, confirming that the ‘One Health’ approach is now in a better position to be able to respond to emerging diseases.
The workshop was split into three parts:
Restitution of the Laboratory System Assessments A restitution of the Laboratory Systems Assessments prepared by IQLS was presented by Dr. Sau Sokunna (MoH) and Dr. Holl Davun (GDAHP). The presentation summarized the strengths and weaknesses of both audited lab systems and the resulting recommendations for SEALAB projects. This gave the participants a greater understanding of the design of the action-plan. Download the restitution
Presentation of the Action-Plan A presentation of the action-plan made by Dr. Mardy the FMx Country Representative which deciphered objectives and correlated activities of the seven strategies defined in the SEALAB project document. This action-plan developed in collaboration with the project partners combines recommendations from the assessments, guidelines of the Laboratory National Plan and priority needs expressed by the beneficiaries of the project. Download the presentation
Presentation of the biological sample transportation work-plan A presentation of the methodology and work-plan designed to propose a sustainable national sample transportation system. Mr. Phanny Ly, one of the Technologist on Site recruited by FMx presented questionnaires that will allow mapping and describing the flow of samples between laboratories before implementing a 6-month pilot phase in 3 provinces. Download the presentation
This workshop has shown that:
Bringing together participants in a meeting room is still much more effective than a virtual meeting to initiate discussions and exchanges between stakeholders.
The ‘One Health’ approach is perceived as a real asset of the SEALAB project
Supporting establishment of a specimen transportation system is acclaimed by all key stakeholders
Participants acknowledged the complementarity of the SEALAB project with new projects to be implemented by the German International Cooperation (GIZ) and Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) and initiated to develop coordination, partnership, comprehensiveness and synergy.
Due to the ongoing meeting restrictions the number of participants was limited to:
E. Dr Kimcheng HOK
Sorn San, Deputy-Director of GDAHP
Holl Davun, Deputy-Director of GDAHP
Rong Rattana, Project manager at Australian Embassy in Cambodia
Sau Sokunna, Director of BMLS
Chroeng Sopheap, Director of the laboratory of Kossamak hospital
Dr Tum Sothyra, Director of NAHPRI
Sarika Patel, epidemiologist at WHO
Hak Makara, Technical Advisor at FAO
Joanne Letchford, Director of DMDP in Cambodia
Prahors Ung, Project Manager at GIZ-Cambodia
Maria Rose Rioja, Technical Adviser at CHAI-Cambodia
Mardy Sek, Country Representative of Fondation Merieux in Cambodia
Yann Sokchea, TOS at FMx
Phanny Ly, TOS at FMx
Froehlich Yves, HOP SEALAB
For this reason, the 3 presentations will be presented on-site in the 5 participating hospitals, Kampong Cham (already done), Battambang, Kampong Chhnang, Takeo and Phnom Penh Kossamak hospital, to allow all personnel involved in the SEALAB project implementation to be clearly informed on the project. Handouts of all presentations were distributed to participants.
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