n African Journal of Laboratory Medicine - Pre-Ebola virus disease laboratory system and related challenges in Liberia - : lessons from the field

Volume 5, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 2225-2002
  • E-ISSN: 2225-2010



Prior to the Ebola virus disease outbreak in Liberia, the laboratory system was duplicative, fragmented and minimally coordinated. The National Reference Laboratory was conceptualised to address the existing challenges by promoting the implementation of effective and sustainable laboratory services in Liberia. However, in a resource-limited environment such as Liberia, progress regarding the rebuilding of the health system can be relatively slow, while efforts to sustain the transient gains remain a key challenge for the Ministry of Health. In this paper, we describe the pre-Ebola virus disease laboratory system in Liberia and its prevailing efforts to address future emerging infectious diseases, as well as current Infectious diseases, all of which are exacerbated by poverty. We conclude that laboratory and diagnostic services in Liberia have encountered numerous challenges regarding its efforts to strengthen the healthcare delivery system. These challenges include limited trained human resource capacity, inadequate infrastructure, and a lack of coordination. As with most countries in sub-Saharan Africa, when comparing urban and rural settings, diagnostic and clinical services are generally skewed toward urban health facilities and private, faith-based health facilities. We recommend that structured policy be directed at these challenges for national institutions to develop guidelines to improve, strengthen and sustain diagnostic and curative laboratory services to effectively address current infectious diseases and prepare for future emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error