SILAB for Africa Project



SILAB for Africa (SILABFA) is a web application, using an information system to support laboratory diagnostic activities. Developed by IZSAM's IT staff for laboratories in African countries, the prototype was presented in April 2009 at the Diagnostic Meeting of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in Windhoek, Namibia.

It is a Laboratory Information Managements Systems (LIMS), an automated electronic recording function to support diagnostic activity and epidemiological surveillance, to facilitate the laboratory accreditation and quickly notify outbreaks.


SILABFA allows Veterinary Laboratories to track samples from submission to test reports, facilitating the linkage between diagnostic results and response in the field through the transition from paperwork to computerized systems. SILABFA, adapted to the African veterinary laboratories, is an innovative system enabling data interoperability, test standardization and harmonization. When possible, its connection to other national databases has been evaluated, e.g. with national tracking systems or mobile applications.


A LIMS, successfully implemented, improves data accuracy, increasing laboratory productivity and overall effectiveness. SILABFA enables the organization of all relevant laboratory information, rapid data recovery and reporting, making data accessible to others and promoting collaboration between departments. Over the years, this software has led to a significant improvement in the diagnostic and alert capabilities of African Laboratories, helping to make the diagnostic activity more efficient and to strengthen the capacity of epidemiological surveillance.


Since November 2011, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) recognized SILABFA as the preferred LIMS for SADC countries and the regional interest in the system continues to grow; other African countries could request soon officially the installation of SILABFA and actively participate in the project, investing their resources accordingly.

Since 2010, IZSAM has dedicated significant economic and human resources to the SILABFA project, implementing the information system in several African laboratories. Since 2013, FAO supports the project in many African countries through funds made available by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). FAO supports the idea that a more widespread implementation of LIMS in laboratories across the region would largely benefit the overall management and information flow of individual laboratories, as well as the quality of the information collected. Using a common LIMS system in a majority of countries on the continent, national veterinary laboratory diagnostic activities will have the opportunity to improve laboratory capacity for epidemiological surveillance and alert at both national and regional levels. This approach is also in line with Regional Laboratory Networking approach that FAO supports in Africa.





© IZSAM April 2020
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