Establishing a pathology lab in Samoa

Establishing a pathology lab in Samoa

COVID-19 Recovery Samoa Health Security Completed



Partner contribution

$ 1,740,500

DFAT contribution

$ 495,500

Icon Total Funds

Total Value

$ 2,236,000

Start: August 2021 - End: April 2024


Pacific Laboratory Specialists

Pacific Laboratory Specialists (PLS) is a provider of pathology and general medical diagnostic services to medical facilities in Fiji and the Pacific. PLS is a trusted provider of choice to some of the Pacific’s leading public and private hospital groups that perform a comprehensive range of services for doctors, patients and corporate clients.

International Planned Parenthood Federation Sub-Regional Office for the Pacific

International Planned Parenthood Federation Sub-Regional Office for the Pacific (IPPF SROP) is a non-government organization working towards meeting the sexual and reproductive health and rights needs in the communities it serves and have achieved a powerful and transformative impact towards improving the health and wellbeing of those they reach.

Samoa Family Health Association

Samoa Family Health Association (SFHA) is a leading non-government provider of sexual and reproductive health services in Samoa. SFHA provides SRH services through clinics and outreach services to up to 850 clients per month with a majority female client base and established access and service provision to remote and underserved populations.

Australian Government

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade works with international partners and other countries to tackle global challenges, increase trade and investment opportunities, protect international rules, keep our region stable and help Australians overseas.


About this partnership

Bringing quality and affordable healthcare to women and under-served communities in Samoa. This partnership aims to establish Samoa’s first private Pathology lab and reduce preventable deaths through early diagnosis and treatment referrals.


Cervical cancer is the most common cancer for Samoan women aged 15-44, and Samoa’s estimated incidence is the sixth highest out of 26 Asia-Pacific countries. Samoa does not have a pathology laboratory and all test specimens are sent to New Zealand at a high cost. The results turnaround time is between 4 to 6 weeks, causing multiple challenges such as the increased likelihood of misdiagnosis, increased potential for lost samples, and extended time frames for diagnosis.

Pacific Laboratory Specialists’ lab in Fiji

About the initiative

This initiative aims to establish a fully functional diagnostic laboratory to provide timely screening, early diagnosis, treatment referral and effective follow-up to underserved communities in Samoa. The partners have a common goal – the early diagnosis of sexual and reproductive health conditions such as cervical cancer to reduce preventable deaths.

The partnership is based on a business model that has been successfully trialled and implemented in Fiji. By partnering with the Australian Government through the Business Partnership Platform, the partners can invest in the equipment and reagents required to set up the laboratory. This enables an efficient start-up process, improved effectiveness of the laboratory and fast-tracks income generation.

The local laboratory will enable early testing and coupled with outreach from IPPF’s Samoa Member Association will reach women, people with a disability and underserved communities. The initiative has clear and significant benefits to women and girls through establishing capability and facilities for early identification of cervical cancer.

Key contributions from partners

Hear from the partners

“We hope, through this solid partnership to fight cancer, with an effective and early diagnosis for better health and wellbeing.” Mr Josese Mailulu  – Executive Chairman, and Mr Shailendra Prasad – Executive Director, Pacific Laboratory Specialists

“Hope for a firm, genuine and shared value partnership to catalyze access for testing and early detection of Cervical cancer, for women living in Samoa, within the Pacific and beyond.” Samoa Family Health Association and International Planned Parenthood Federation Sub-regional Office for the Pacific

From L-R: Shailendra, Robert, Karen, Paulini, Dr Bingwor, Joe

This partnership was selected through the BPP’s 2020 Call for Partnerships


Get all the latest news from the BPP