The SLMTA Hero Award

Eke Ofuche, Senior Laboratory Technical Advisor, AIDS Prevention Initiative in Nigeria (APIN)

Nominated by Emmanuel Idigbe, Coordinator Research Planning and Development, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Nigeria

Eke is a member of the Nigeria SLMTA Team. He was certified as a SLMTA trainer in August 2012 in a regional SLMTA TOT organized in Nigeria with support from IANPHI. This was immediately followed by his certification as a laboratory mentor. Thereafter, he became very active and instrumental in facilitating SLMTA step-down trainings, conducting SLIPTA audits and providing mentorship to the Nigerian pilot laboratories enrolled in the SLMTA program. He has conducted SLIPTA audits for several laboratories, helping to mentor the laboratories and ensure quality improvement in preparation for ASLM audits. Eke’s role in mentoring the laboratories supported by his organization, APIN, contributed to the Human Virology and National TB Reference Laboratories, both in NIMR, in becoming the first laboratories in Sub-Saharan Africa to attain a 4 SLIPTA-Star status in September 2013. Through his efforts, APIN is currently supporting four laboratories with a 4 SLIPTA-Star status, the best record from any organization in Nigeria. He became the first Nigerian to be certified by ASLM as a SLIPTA auditor in September 2013. He has participated in several official ASLM audits in Nigeria and other African countries on behalf of WHO-AFRO. He has led several mentorship activities at many laboratories both in Nigeria and other African countries, helping these laboratories to prepare for the eventual ASLM audits.

His knowledge and understanding of ISO 15189 requirements has set him apart as an ISO 15189 mentor and expert. Following ASLM’s recommendation for 7 Nigerian laboratories to seek accreditation to ISO 15189, Eke was appointed by CDC-Nigeria to provide mentorship to these laboratories. He is currently leading the in-country team of mentors to support and prepare these laboratories towards accreditation.