Recent Activities - 2021

Update on the South East Asia Laboratory Strengthening (SEALAB) Project

In November and December 2020, NRL continued its work in Cambodia under the SEALAB project activity, funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and aimed at strengthening laboratory capacity to detect and respond to infectious disease outbreaks of a potentially pandemic nature.

From 11 November to 4 December 2020, NRL conducted virtual quality management systems (QMS) assessments at five human health laboratories. The aim of this assessment was to inform NRL in the development of Cambodia’s SEALAB project action plan and to ensure that it provides relevant, sustainable and needs-based support. The assessment at each laboratory collected a baseline level of each laboratory’s capacity and quality management system (QMS), using “WHO Laboratory Assessment Tool (LAT) Annex 2: Facility”.

As NRL was not able to perform the QMS assessments in person, NRL required the laboratories to complete parts of the LAT electronically, prior to the visit. This was submitted to NRL for review, and subsequently followed up in person by personnel from the Mérieux Foundation based in Cambodia, who visited the sites and supported the visit by taking photos of the facilities and facilitating discussions and translation where necessary. At the end of each visit, a Zoom call was held between NRL, the laboratory and the Mérieux Foundation, to discuss the LAT findings and explore the current QMS gaps.

As a next step, NRL and the Mérieux Foundation will discuss the proposed SEALAB project action plan with key stakeholders in Cambodia. NRL would like to thank the Cambodian Ministry of Health, the Bureau of Medical Laboratory Services, the Mérieux Foundation and country partners for their valuable support with this activity.

These and all NRL training and consultancy services continue NRL’s mission to improve the quality of pathology testing through the development of robust quality systems. We are proud to support all countries in their drive to improve testing quality and ultimately to improve the quality of life of their residents.

Participants of the SEALAB Project