February/March 2018: Training in Myanmar
As part of NRL's sub-contract with the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), NRL undertook two visits to deliver training workshops and conduct meetings in Myanmar. These project activities were funded by the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), through a Cooperative Agreement between ASCP and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
From 23- 28 February, NRL conducted a Site Assessment Tools Training Workshop for the National Health Laboratory (NHL), relevant non-government organisations, and selected state and regional hospitals in Yangon. The training workshop focused on the use of the "Stepwise Process for Improving the Quality of HIV Rapid Testing" (SPI-RT) checklist, which NRL had adapted to suit Myanmar's needs. It comprised presentations, discussions, and a practice audit of a test site using the NRL-modified SPI-RT Checklist. A Stakeholder Meeting was also held during the visit to discuss ongoing plans for NRL to support HIV Testing Services, as well as the scale-up of HIV Viral Load Testing in Myanmar.
From 21-30 March, NRL facilitated a workshop to discuss training curriculum for HIV Community-Based Screening in Myanmar. This included a "Training of Trainers" module, a technical module on how to perform the screening test, and a counselling module. Following this workshop, NRL conducted a HIV Viral Load (VL) EQAS Production Training Workshop for staff at NHL, and facilitated a Stakeholder Meeting to discuss ongoing collaborations between NRL and relevant in-country stakeholders.
NRL would like to thank all partners and stakeholders, especially colleagues from the Ministry of Health and Sports, National Health Laboratory, National AIDS Program, Mingaladon Specialist Hospital, and CDC Myanmar, for their kind hospitality and contributions towards making the visit a successful one.