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Using a Costing Tool for Sustaining Genomics for Pandemic and Epidemic Prone Pathogens in Namibia

How much will it cost a laboratory to implement routine pathogen genomics annually? How can a laboratory get the best value for money and plan sustainably?

WHO is supporting countries to address these questions to help sustain the genomic surveillance capacity gains made in recent years.

Responding to country requests, WHO in collaboration with the Association of Public Health Laboratories, FIND, The Global Fund and the UK Health Security Agency has developed a genomics costing tool (GCT). This tool is designed to support financial planning and budgeting for routine sequencing and bioinformatics across the genomics value chain. It helps cost infrastructure, reagents and consumables, human resources, quality management and facility overhead costs.

On 10 – 11 October 2023, the WHO Namibia Country Office, in collaboration with the WHO Regional Office for Africa organized a hands-on workshop on the GCT at the Namibia Institute of Pathology, Windhoek, Namibia. The workshop brought together laboratory scientists, quality managers, finance and procurement officers to train staff to use the tool and to gain insight into their user-experience.

Participants expressed their appreciation for the training and the tool itself to help the country with financial planning and budgeting to scale up genomics capacity. This is a critical step towards achieving sustainable capacities in genomics in Namibia. 

Reflections on the training

WHO provides strategic and technical support to countries to build and strengthen their genomic surveillance capacities. The GCT complements recently released a step by step guide which supports countries in developing their national genomic surveillance strategy. This effort aligns with the Global Genomic Surveillance Strategy for Pathogens with Pandemic and Epidemic Potential 2022- 2032, as well as the Transforming African Surveillance Systems flagship programme of WHO’s African Region.

Source : WHO