Tuberculosis (TB)

Global Laboratory Initiative (GLI)


Mission and strategic priorities

Coordinated by the GLI Core Group with support from the secretariat provided by the WHO Global TB Programme, the mission of the GLI and its network of international partners is to serve as a collaborative platform for the development and uptake of practical guidance and tools for building and sustaining high-quality TB diagnostic networks, in the areas of:

  • Implementation of WHO policy guidance on TB diagnostics and laboratory strengthening
  • Health system solutions and innovations for ensuring rapid, accurate testing and linkage to appropriate patient management
  • Continuous quality improvement (CQI) at all levels of the laboratory network
  • Integration of laboratory diagnostic networks
  • Human resource capacity development
  • Advocacy and resource mobilization

GLI priorities for 2017-2018

  • Issue a GLI Practical Guide for TB Laboratory Strengthening, as an update to the 2015 GLI Guide for Providing Technical Support, with model diagnostic algorithms and an accompanying web-based training
  • Develop practical guidance on use of new TB diagnostics recommended by WHO in 2017/2018
  • Develop a training package for TB diagnostic network planning, including updated modules to account for advancements in diagnostic technologies
  • Develop a standardized template for national TB diagnostic network planning and a tool for assessing and measuring network quality improvement
  • Issue a GLI Quick Guide to Developing an Integrated Specimen Transport and Referral System
  • Develop practical guidance on preparing for TB prevalence and drug resistance surveys
  • Develop actionable guidance on quality indicators and corrective actions to optimize performance of TB laboratories
  • Issue practical guidance on laboratory design, layout, and ergonomics for TB culture and DST laboratories
  • Share best practices and country experiences in TB laboratory and diagnostic network strengthening (e.g., diagnostic network integration, use of algorithms providing universal access to rapid testing and DST, development of national TB laboratory research capacity, use of diagnostics connectivity solutions)

Structure

The GLI provides a focus for TB within the framework of a multi-faceted, integrated approach to laboratory capacity strengthening through a network of international partners.

Organizationally, GLI is a Working Group of the Stop TB Partnership. Functionally, it serves as an independent, technical expert advisory group to WHO, the Stop TB Partnership, development and funding agencies, and countries. Structurally, the GLI consists of individuals with expertise in multiple disciplines, representing constituencies of stakeholders and/or institutions involved in global and country-level laboratory strengthening.

The GLI core group has representation from key constituencies including national and supranational reference laboratories, high TB and MDR-TB burden country programmes, technical partners, donors and civil society.

Meetings