The absence of Quality System in the countries of Central Asian Region (CAR) has caused necessity of a Quality Assurance (QA) program to ensure accurate laboratory performance, and to plan evaluation of public healthcare programs and reforms
The development of QA program focusing on laboratory diagnosis of HIV and viral hepatitis.
To institute training for theoretical and practical aspects of QA for laboratory specialist from blood transfusion stations, infectious hospitals and private labs. To establish National Reference Laboratory (NRL) incorporating: 1) standard operating procedures, 2) reference panels (RP) for internal quality control and proficiency testing (PT) programs, and 3) a quality control program for test kits.
Between 2000 and 2003, we worked with Ministries of Health to train 358 laboratorians and establish NRLs in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan. Development of the NRL into the AIDS laboratory network of Kazakhstan helped increase the number of laboratories that achieved 100% accurate analysis of anti-HIV RPs, from 8% (1/19 laboratories) in 1998, to 88% (15/17) in 2003. In 2000, no laboratories in Uzbekistan could detect anti-HCV samples from the reference panel with 100% accuracy. In 2001, 17% (4/23), and in 2003, 63% (10/16) of laboratories achieved 100% accuracy. The Kyrgyzstan AIDS QA program started in 2002. Using RPs from Kazakhstan. by 2003, 30% of laboratories ( 4/12) in the Kyrgyzstan AIDS laboratory service network achieved 100% accuracy in processing anti-HIV RPs. In 2004, nineteen leading laboratories of CAR were enrolled in CDC Model Performance Evaluation Program HIV-1 antibody testing and eighteen of them could achieved 100% accuracy results.
Successful QA programs require continued involvement of laboratory personnel in training and expansion of functions and responsibilities of existing NRLs. Increased collaboration and networking of laboratories within and outside of the Central Asia Region can help improve laboratory quality and efficiency.
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