Visit to assess the capacity of the national influenza laboratory in Armenia

22–24 November 2017, Yerevan, Armenia

National influenza centres (NICs) in the WHO European Region serve as a key technical resource and reference point for national authorities in laboratory surveillance and play a key role in influenza surveillance at the national level. Through the WHO Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS), they also participate in regional and global surveillance by contributing to the implementation of the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (PIP) Framework and by participating in the joint European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control/WHO Regional Office for Europe Flu News Europe weekly influenza update.

At the request of the Ministry of Health of Armenia, WHO will perform an on-site assessment of the national influenza laboratory at the National Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) of Armenia, to ascertain whether the laboratory complies with the WHO terms of reference for NICs and whether the laboratory can obtain formal recognition by WHO.

Background

NICs are national institutions designated by national ministries and recognized by WHO. They are also part of the WHO GISRS. Amongst other duties, these centres play a vital role in collecting clinical samples and isolating influenza viruses, making it possible for WHO to monitor the influenza season each year and make vaccine recommendations.