The SLMTA Hero Award

Jean Marie Vianney Ngendakabaniga, Laboratory Quality Manager, University Teaching Hospital in Butare, Rwanda

Nominated by Wangeci Gatei, Senior Laboratory Program Advisor, CDC-Rwanda

Jean Marie Vianney (JMV) embodies the spirit of SLMTA, from initial rollout to implementation through the stepwise endurance of the steep, challenging yet rewarding path that laboratories must take to attain high quality standards evidenced by excellent laboratory services to communities. JMV is the laboratory quality manager at the University Teaching Hospital in Butare, Rwanda, and was among the first cohort of SLMTA trainees when the program was first launched in 2009, in Kigali, Rwanda. From the beginning JMV embraced the SLMTA principles wholeheartedly, and being a committed laboratory technologist he quickly realized what a great tool SLMTA was in improving laboratories. Working with his Rwanda team, he undertook numerous improvement projects while advancing his skills through Training of Trainers to become a mentor, a facilitator, and a Master Trainer by 2013. JMV was the first SLMTAn in Rwanda to become a Master Trainer. He has been the main driving force in training 5 SLMTA cohorts that have seen the enrollment of 33 laboratories and close to 140 SLMTAns across the country.

JMV is a unique SLMTA trainer, always making the process fun and motivating. His personal mission to improve laboratories has led him to initiate SLMTA in Burundi. As a bilingual SLMTA trainer he continues to be a highly-valued resource both in the country and in the region. Indeed, his efforts were recognized and was among the recipients of the CDC & ATSDR 2014 International Excellence in Partnering Award. He is a SLMTA hero for Rwanda and the African region.