Recent Activities - 2016

June 2016: NRL Myanmar Project

Between 6 and 17 June 2016, NRL conducted its second visit to Myanmar under the sub-contract with the Foundation of Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), to strengthen the laboratory system in Myanmar through training and quality management system implementation.  During the visit, NRL (represented by Kim Wilson, Marlene Tschaepe and Susie Braniff) along with FIND (represented by Dr Khin Zaw Latt) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (represented by Dr Ikuma Nozaki and Dr Pyae Phyo Than Cho) conducted site visits of township hospital laboratories and community based Point-of-Care (POC) sites for HIV testing in the Yangon and Mandalay regions.  The site visits provided the opportunity to observe and discuss challenges and improvement opportunities for rapid HIV testing at various levels of the laboratory network and in the community setting in Myanmar.

The visit began with a well-attended meeting of stakeholders hosted by the National Health Laboratory (NHL) in Yangon. Various in-country stakeholders contributed to the discussion on HIV POC testing and treatment programmes in Myanmar.  The meeting included representatives from NHL; National Aids Programme (NAP) Myanmar; the World Health Organisation (WHO) in-country office for Myanmar; Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA); and a host of non-government organisations currently providing HIV testing and counselling to high-risk populations in Myanmar. The information gathered from the site visits and stakeholder contributions have provided the focal points for development of a HIV POC training package that will be piloted during the next visit by NRL in July.

NRL also conducted the next stage in a series of training workshops on laboratory Quality Management Systems (QMS) in both Mandalay and Yangon. This workshop introduced trainees to using quality indicators to monitor the laboratory process, implementing internal QC and getting the most out of EQAS. The workshops were attended by laboratory staff from NHL; Public Health Laboratory, Mandalay (MPHL); Mingalardon HIV Specialist Hospital and the Mandalay General Hospital. All the trainees have committed to monitoring two quality indicators in their laboratories and will report on their findings at the next QMS workshop.

NRL would like to thank all the stakeholder representatives, laboratory staff and workshop trainees for their cooperation and participation during the various activities conducted by NRL over the two week period.

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NRL is designated a WHO Collaborating Centre for Diagnostics and Laboratory Support for HIV and AIDS and Other Blood-borne Infections