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The national laboratory network

Like the national health pyramid, the laboratory network in Benin is structured in three levels consisting of 91 laboratories in total:

  1. The central level, represented by the Reference Laboratory for Mycobacteria (LRM), has as roles:
  • To define and implement the policy of the NTP concerning laboratory activities.
  • To ensure a regular supply of equipments, consumables and reagents to the laboratories
  • To organize quality control of laboratory tests (panel proficiency testing for microscopy and GeneXpert, and blinded rechecking for microscopy)
  • To supervise the laboratories on a quarterly basis
  • To training and retrain the laboratory technicians

2. The intermediate level, represented by 11 laboratories at the level of the capitals of the departments of Benin, is responsible for:

  • Bacteriological testing samples for diagnosis and follow-up of tuberculosis treatment. The 11 laboratories of the intermediate level all offer the GeneXpert test and fluorescence microscopy.
  • Supporting the LRM for all activities carried out at the departmental level
  • Linking the LRM with the laboratories of the tuberculosis screening and treatment centers
  • Participating in the quality control of peripheral laboratories (panel proficiency testing for microscopy and GeneXpert, and blinded rechecking for microscopy)
  • Quarterly supervision of peripheral laboratories in collaboration with the LRM
  • Ensuring a regular supply of consumables and reagents to peripheral laboratories
  • Producing quarterly activity reports
  • Ensuring the transportation of sputa for resistance monitoring at the central level

3. The operational level, represented by the 79 laboratories, is responsible for:

  • Bacteriological testing of specimens for the diagnosis of tuberculosis and treatment monitoring. Among the laboratories at the operational level, 18 offer the GeneXpert test, 12 fluorescence microscopy and 67 brightfield microscopy
  • To correctly fill in the hard-copy and electronic laboratory registers (DataToCare software)
  • To write quarterly reports and send them to the intermediate and central levels
  • To participate in TB community control activities
  • To transport sputa for TB drug resistance detection/monitoring at the central level