March 2017: NRL Training in Myanmar
In the first quarter of 2017, NRL was awarded two sub-contracts, which allowed the continuation of capacity development activities in Myanmar. Both sub-contracts were funded by the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), through the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
One of the sub-contracts was between the African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM) and NRL.
The objectives of this project were to support the following:
(i) Supervision and monitoring of quality at decentralised HIV point-of-care testing sites in Myanmar, through the development of an assessment tool appropriate to the local context; and
(ii) Development of a standardised, national training plan for HIV testing services in Myanmar.
Between 20-24 March 2017, Susie Braniff, Marlene Tschaepe and Geraldine Kong visited Yangon under the auspices of this ASLM-NRL sub-contract. During the visit, NRL staff:
Conducted training for the Ministry of Health and Sports (MOHS) National Health Laboratory (NHL), Yangon and 12 international non-governmental organisations in the use of an assessment tool adapted from the CDC Stepwise Process for Improving the Quality of HIV Rapid Testing (SPI-RT) Checklist, to suit the local context in Myanmar.
Trialled the use of the assessment tool for suitability to the local context, through practical training sessions.
Undertook meetings with in-country partners and stakeholders to discuss operational and policy issues concerning the development of a standardised, national training plan for HIV testing services in Myanmar.
NRL would like to thank all partners and stakeholders, especially colleagues from NHL, National AIDS Program, as well as the Myanmar offices of CDC, Save the Children and ICAP at Columbia University, for their kind hospitality and contributions towards making the visit a successful and fruitful one.
The second sub-contract was between the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) and NRL. The objective of this project was to support the implementation of the national HIV viral load scale-up plan in Myanmar.
Between 20-31 March 2017, NRL staff member Liza Cabuang and Consultant Scientist Johanna Wapling visited Yangon under the auspices of the ASCP-NRL sub-contract. During the visit, both team members:
Conducted technical training on HIV viral load testing for laboratory staff from the National Health Laboratory (NHL), Mandalay Public Health Laboratory, Mingalardon Specialist Hospital and Magway General Hospital.
Undertook site visits and participated in meetings and discussions aimed at supporting the national HIV viral load scale-up plan for Myanmar.
NRL would like to thank all partners and stakeholders, especially colleagues from NHL, National AIDS Program, and CDC Myanmar, for their kind hospitality and contributions towards the success of the visit.