Since June 2018, Haiti officially holds its first National Laboratories Policy (NLP). A big step for the health sector and in particular that of the Laboratory which has been neglected for a long time. This document is the result of a great collaboration between the Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP) and its technical and financial partners, in particular the European Union and Fondation Mérieux, who provided financial support to carry out evaluations. fieldwork and technical consultations. This Policy includes the main strategies necessary for the development of the laboratory sector. The development process was long and complex and required the development of an advocacy strategy.
The laboratory appeared at the beginning of the twentieth century in Haiti. But, like the country's health system, this sector has had its ups and downs. Availability and access to quality laboratory services are still major challenges for the country.
According to the Director of the National Laboratory of Public Health (LNSP), Dr. Jacques Boncy, "despite significant efforts coming mainly from the private sector, what characterized the laboratory is a lack of chronic investment, a sawtooth evolution and a certain level of disorganization. "
The weakness of this sector has serious consequences for the health system. It exposes patients to poor or ineffective treatments, inadequate public health decisions, the loss of financial resources, and ultimately a decrease in the credibility of the health system.
However, the laboratory plays a key role in epidemiological surveillance, prevention programs, and disease control. One of the major roles of the laboratory is the provision of reliable information necessary for the care of patients, surveillance, detection and response to epidemics.
To remedy this situation, the Ministry of Public Health and Population of Haiti (MSPP) has made a lot of effort. In 2006, it created the National Public Health Laboratory (LNSP) under the supervision of the Department of Laboratory Epidemiology and Research (DELR). Thanks to the LNSP, the sector has begun to structure and strengthen itself by organizing multiple training sessions for both public and private laboratory technologists to the advantage of the National Laboratory Network, by coordinating activities of the various medical laboratories by the presence in the ten health departments of a departmental medical technologist.
A Five-Year Strategic Plan for the Laboratory 2010/2015 was developed to guide the actions of the LNSP. However, this plan could not be implemented for lack of funding from donors and especially the earthquake of January 12, 2010, which upset the country.
In addition, the absence of a National Laboratories Policy did not allow the Strategic Plan to be included in a long-term vision for the development of the sector in question.
SPHaitiLab designed primarily to develop the laboratory
In 2015, the Ministry of Health came up with a new project called "SPHaïtiLab" that was elaborated with Fondation Mérieux, and co-financed by the European Union. "Endowing the country with a National Laboratories Policy" is one of SPHaïtiLab's main objectives. This essential tool presents the vision of the Ministry of Public Health and Population, which wishes to have an efficient laboratory system in order to provide universal access to quality health services for all.
The National Laboratories Policy presents the main areas of development of the laboratory sector, namely the management of laboratories and the legal and regulatory systems, the development and application of standards, the management of Human Resources, the financing of the field of laboratories , promoting research in biology, information management in the laboratory, quality management, the supply system, equipment management, as well as biosecurity and waste management.
The Minister of Public Health, Dr. Marie Greta Roy Clément, pointed out that the data from the laboratories are the eyes of the ministry. "Developing the laboratory sector is synonymous with ensuring the health system's resilience." Said Dr. Clément at the launch of the Policy.