The World Health Organization has been advocating strengthening of laboratory services (WHA Resolution 27.62, 1974) through the application of appropriate and cost-effective diagnostic and therapeutic procedures that are essential for the provision of quality health care and mitigation of human mortality, morbidity and misery. The need for an effective, responsive, high quality medical laboratory network within a developed and well organized health system is a recognized integral and vital part of patient services, and key to the success of the WHO disease prevention and control programs.'
In member countries of the Western Pacific Region, the health laboratories are mostly fragmented and in varying stages of development. Though WHO has been providing normative and technical support to the Member countries, it is observed that laboratories continue to attract low national priority, there is absence of national laboratory policies, they suffer from lack of adequate resources, lack regulatory systems , improper utilization and maintenance of equipment, non-availability of quality diagnostic kits and reagents on continuous basis and operating with weak quality systems.
WHO continued support to Member States in improving the quality and accessibility of clinical laboratories; capacity building in the form of Training of Trainers workshop (Viet Nam); training laboratory staff from district health centres (Papua New Guinea); technical support for developing national laboratory policy (Vietnam, Cambodia); to conduct a comprehensive assessment of county-level laboratories (Mongolia); and guidelines and protocols for laboratory specimen transport (Mongolia).