Original Research

The World Health Organization African region external quality assessment scheme for anti-HIV serology

Fatim Cham, Mahlatse Maleka, Martin Masango, Emma Goetsch, El H. Belabbes, Beverley Singh, Guy M. Gershy-Damet, Adrian Puren
African Journal of Laboratory Medicine | Vol 1, No 1 | a39 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajlm.v1i1.39 | © 2012 Fatim Cham, Mahlatse Maleka, Martin Masango, Emma Goetsch, El H. Belabbes, Beverley Singh, Guy M. Gershy-Damet, Adrian Puren | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 April 2012 | Published: 07 November 2012

About the author(s)

Fatim Cham, World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa, Brazzaville, Congo, the Democratic Republic of the
Mahlatse Maleka, Centre for HIV and STI, National Institute for Communicable Diseases, South Africa
Martin Masango, Centre for HIV and STI, National Institute for Communicable Diseases, South Africa
Emma Goetsch, Centre for HIV and STI, National Institute for Communicable Diseases, South Africa
El H. Belabbes, World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa, Brazzaville, Congo, the Democratic Republic of the
Beverley Singh,, South Africa
Guy M. Gershy-Damet, World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa, Brazzaville, Congo, the Democratic Republic of the
Adrian Puren, Centre for HIV and STI, National Institute for Communicable Diseases Division of Virology and Communicable Disease, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa


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Abstract

A regional external quality assessment scheme (REQAS) for anti-HIV serology aimed to objectively assess reliability and quality of HIV testing processes in the African region. This involved the distribution of proficiency testing (PT) panels to participating laboratories from 2002 to 2010. During the survey period, this included 16 distributions of PT panels to 49 laboratories in 30 countries, and the overall average score during the nine-year survey period was 98.9%, with a frequency of accurate detection, of anti-HIV-1 and/or anti-HIV-2 antibodies in the PT panels, ranging from 93% to 100%. Problems highlighted included lack of human resources and frequent stock outs of test kits, reagents and consumables for routine HIV testing. The design of the REQAS allowed appraisal of the reliability of anti-HIV serological testing methods utilised by laboratories for clinical assessment of patients and/or surveillance programmes. The REQAS was able to demonstrate that laboratories participating in the REQAS performed well and sustained their participation in the scheme. This bodes well for clinical diagnosis, surveillance and training activities at these reference laboratories.

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Crossref Citations

1. To err is human, to correct is public health: a systematic review examining poor quality testing and misdiagnosis of HIV status
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Journal of the International AIDS Society  vol: 20  first page: 21755  year: 2017  
doi: 10.7448/IAS.20.7.21755