Recent Activities - 2016

March 2016: NRL Myanmar Project

Between 14 and 25 March 2015, NRL conducted its first visit to Myanmar under the Foundation of Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) sub-contract to strengthen the laboratory system in Myanmar through training and quality management system implementation.  NRL’s sub-contract with FIND is part of a Cooperative Agreement that FIND has with the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Building Global Capacity for Diagnostic Testing of Tuberculosis, Malaria, and HIV through Laboratory Strengthening and Integration of Services”, and which falls under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).  This project is building upon NRL’s earlier work in Myanmar, with more laboratories participating and a wider scope of activities.

During the visit, NRL (represented by Susan Best, Susie Braniff, Marlene Tschaepe and Claire Ryan) along with FIND (represented by Ms. Kekeletso Kao, Dr Khin Zaw Latt and Dr Ti Ti) and CDC (represented by Mr Kyle Bond) conducted site visits and baseline assessments of laboratories and community based HIV Point-of-Care testing sites in Yangon and Mandalay.  The site visits provided valuable information regarding the quality of HIV testing and laboratory systems for various levels of the laboratory network in Myanmar.

The visit also provided an opportunity to hold a meeting with various in-country stakeholders and gain an overview of the current activities related to HIV testing and treatment programmes in Myanmar.  The meeting included representatives from the World Health Organisation (WHO) in-country office for Myanmar; Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI); Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA); the Burnet Institute; National Aids Programme (NAP) Myanmar; Save The Children; NHL; CDC and FIND.

In the second week of the visit, NRL conducted the following training workshops:

i)  Quality Management System (QMS):  This workshop introduced staff, especially the new trainees to the elements of a laboratory QMS The workshop was attended by laboratory staff from NHL; Public Health Laboratory, Mandalay (MPHL); Mingalardon HIV Specialist Hospital and the Mandalay General Hospital. Also included were mentoring sessions for the Quality Managers from NHL and MPHL, with whom NRL has worked for several years

ii)  External Quality Assessment Schemes (EQAS) Theory:  This workshop provided technical support for the continuing development of EQAS programs at NHL for HIV testing (serology, CD4, viral load, haematology and clinical chemistry).  The workshop was attended by laboratory staff from the Virology, Immunology, Clinical Pathology and Biochemistry Departments at NHL

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