LabSkills training retreats brought together health professionals from across East, Central and Southern Africa, setting the stage for the development of inter-country and inter-regional networks.

When Mayala Lushina, the Quality Officer at Muhimbili National Hospital, Tanzania, could not find a supplier for a particular reagent, he utilised his list of LabSkills Africa contacts. First he contacted laboratory staff at the Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya, and when they explained that they were also having difficulties locating a supplier, he sent a message to the laboratory manager at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre, Tanzania, who gave him the name a of supplier which he shared with the staff at the Aga Khan University Hospital.

On another occasion, Mayala wanted advice on the protocol for measuring sample turnaround times, so he consulted another LabSkills Africa participant, Donhadzo Ndoro, at Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital in Zimbabwe.

“I am very excited about being able to use the LabSkills network. If you hide yourself when you are having problems, you will not solve your problems, but when you have good neighbours they will help you. It is wonderful to have these new friends.”