Accreditation of the National Reference Laboratory for the Diagnosis of Measles and Rubella in Turkmenistan
On 13–15 March 2017, experts from WHO/Europe conducted a technical visit to the National Reference Laboratory for the Diagnosis of Measles and Rubella in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, a member of the European Measles and Rubella Laboratory Network.
The purpose of the visit was to assess the Laboratory for accreditation following its move to a new building with modern equipment that meets international standards. The Laboratory is a subdivision of the Centre for Public Health and Nutrition, which opened in July 2016. The Centre contains 10 laboratories focused on various aspects of public health, most of which are reference laboratories.
During the visit, experts conducted a training for laboratory specialists on the diagnosis of measles and rubella using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) method. They focused on procedures for carrying out the analysis method, and on the implementation of internal quality assessment (IQA). They also assessed the laboratory’s working practices and operating procedures, and its performance in 2016 and early 2017 in terms of: workload; timeliness of reporting and completeness of laboratory data; results of the external quality assurance programme; and implementation of the IQA.
Based on the positive results of the evaluation, the Laboratory received accreditation for diagnosis of measles and rubella. This accreditation status is an important component of the epidemiological surveillance of these infections, part of maintaining the status of measles and rubella elimination in the WHO Europеan Region.