The Lancet profiles AIGHD’s Pascale Ondoa

AIGHD research fellow, Pascale Ondoa, was profiled in last weeks issue of The Lancet. Pascale is a viro-immunologist with experience in the field of HIV. She is currently the director of Science and New Initiatives at the African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM).

“Our core aim is to build laboratory systems to address the health agenda as defined by Africa”, says Pascale Ondoa, who for the past 5 years has been Director of Science and New Initiatives at the African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM). Part of this role is to direct technical advice and provide leadership to help shape health strategy and laboratory medicine improvement at the country level. “A lot of our work involves the coordination of partners and experts, so that investments from agencies like PEPFAR, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Fleming Fund, and others generate substantial and sustainable impact. Our overarching role is to ensure that funding in key laboratory programmatic areas can result in meaningful health improvements on the ground”, she says. This work inevitably means that Ondoa and colleagues have to navigate the complex space of global health politics and funding. “There are often preferred themes or trends that donors are aligned with which do not always fit country needs or are consistent with national health priorities”, she explains. “We sometimes have to take a more pragmatic approach, shaping country level strategic planning in line with areas in the funding pipeline. For example, a few years ago opportunities from donors were around HIV drug resistance, an important area for disease control, but not as crucial as investment in laboratory system infrastructure to build HIV viral load testing capacity for the effective monitoring of HIV treatment.”


This text was pulled from The Lancet article found here