Universal and affordable health care has been central to the planning of India’s health system. The Government of India (GoI), under the National Health Mission, has supported scale up of operations to meet the increasing demands of the country. To ensure quality service delivery, there is a need for building capacity of health care workers and the public sector laboratory workforce, for better implementation and coverage at all levels. Substantial effort and resources have been devoted to the creation of a wide network of public sector health facilities and laboratory networks. 

Technical partnerships with international agencies have an enormous potential to improve health systems. It also presents an opportunity for, collaborations on common goals and for tapping the strengths, methodology and resources of various experts in the field to foster sustainability. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) leverages the support of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in its endeavor to strengthen the public health system in India through the Labs for Life project which strives to strengthen and improve quality of operations in existing public laboratory networks through numerous activities across multiple states.

The project is being implemented by the Christian Medical Association of India (CMAI).

The project is being implemented in two phases.

In the first phase, the project has operations in 20 facilities in 10 districts across 6 states in India, with activities aimed at strengthening laboratory operations and developing Quality Management Systems within them. Phase II of the project is being implemented at public health laboratories with co-located ART centres so as to ensure mandatory laboratory support for People Living with HIV (PLHIV) as per the NACO guidelines. This phase has been launched in 22 selected hospitals with ART centres across 6 districts in the clusters of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.