SILAB for Africa Project



SILAB for Africa (SILABFA) is an information system to support laboratory diagnostic activities (Laboratory Information Managements Systems - LIMS). The web application is developed and maintained by the IT staff of IZSAM, for the laboratories of African countries. The prototype was first presented in April 2009 at the Diagnostic Meeting of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in Windhoek, Namibia.

SILABFA is a LIMS, supporting the diagnostic activity, which is important for facilitating the laboratory accreditation process, carrying out epidemiological surveillance activities and quickly notifying outbreaks.

SILABFA allows veterinary laboratories to trace samples from acceptance to test reports, facilitating the connection between diagnostic results and the response in the field through the transition from paper systems to computerized systems.

SILABFA is innovative in the way it has been adapted to the needs of African veterinary laboratories and allows interoperability with external systems, standardization of diagnostic activities and harmonization of test reports. In some countries SILABFA has been connected with the identification and tracking system of farms and animals, in others with the FAO EMAI system which collects sampling data in case of suspicion, in other cases the standardized data of the results of the Antibiotic -resistance, they are automatically extracted and prepared to be sent to external national systems. In addition, an app has been developed in English, French and Italian to guide the correct collection of material from animals in the field.


Such a successfully implemented LIMS improves data accuracy, increasing the productivity of the laboratory and its overall effectiveness. SILABFA allows to organize all information relevant to the laboratory, rapid data retrieval and drafting of reports. It also makes it possible to make data accessible to others, thus 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 diagnostic activities more efficient and strengthening the capabilities of epidemiological surveillance and alert laboratories.


Since 2010, IZSAM has dedicated substantial economic and human resources to the SILABFA project, implementing the information system in the first African laboratories.

In November 2011, the Southern African Development Community recognized SILABFA as the preferred LIMS for SADC countries and other African countries requested its installation.

In 2013, FAO began funding the project to extend the use of SILABFA in many African countries through funds made available by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Fleming Funds. This support continues today with the belief that a more widespread development of LIMS in laboratories throughout the region and the continent would greatly benefit the general management and information flow of individual laboratories, as well as the quality of the information collected. By managing a common LIMS system in most countries of the continent, the diagnostic activities of national veterinary laboratories will have the opportunity to strengthen the laboratory capacity for epidemiological surveillance and alarm at regional and national level: an approach, this, in in line with the Regional Laboratory Networking that FAO supports in Africa.

At the end of 2021, 18 African countries are using SILABFA in 45 laboratories, some in the “light” version called SLIMS.






Still under the aegis of FAO, in 2022, SILABFA was adopted by the first 2 Asian countries (Bangladesh and Cambodia) in 4 laboratories in total. Starting from this first experience, the extension to the regional level is being planned.

© IZSAM June 2022
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