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GSSHealth and CDC Convene to Review Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) Successes and Challenges 

Partnership Has Focused on Laboratory Systems Strengthening in Benin and Togo

Mr. Martin Adams and Dr. Paula Fernandes of GSSHealth at CDC Headquarters in Atlanta on May 23, 2018.

ATLANTA, GA: GSSHealth CEO Dr. Paula Fernandes and Senior Biosecurity Specialist Martin Adams were at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters on Thursday, May 23 to discuss the impact and innovations of the CDC’s ongoing efforts to strengthen systems to prevent, detect and respond to biothreats and infectious disease outbreaks in Benin and Togo under the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA). 

Since 2016, CDC and implementing partner GSSHealth have built strong cooperative relationships with Ministries of Health (MOHs) in Benin and Togo working together to increase national laboratory system capacity in the key areas of biosafety and biosecurity, patient sample transportation, and laboratory quality management.

During the visit to CDC headquarters, GSSHealth staff and CDC leadership from the Division of Global Health Protection (DGHP) reviewed the progress made to enhance laboratory systems in Togo and Benin highlighting programmatic accomplishments that included the formation of national laboratory biosafety programs, field-testing of national policies and procedures for transporting samples during an outbreak and, an extensive audit program in Togo.

GSSHealth also described the program’s focus on country stakeholder skill development, resource access and empowerment, which have amplified the effect of interventions leading to large-scale and sustainable improvements despite financial constraints.

“This program has done a great job of showing MOH laboratory personnel how to use tools to harness the power of data to then advocate for change in the healthcare system,” said Martin Adams during the meeting. “Since our activities began, laboratory personnel have collected data and used it to successfully advocate for biosafety and quality improvements with facility leadership.”

The meeting concluded with discussions of next steps and a review of how programmatic lessons can be used to inform future planning of this and other programs. For further information about GSSHealth programs, please contact or visit the website at

Page updated: 6-12-2018

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