CDC Atlanta evaluates the Measles-Rubella laboratory of the Centre Pasteur of Cameroon

From 3rd to 7th December 2018, experts carried out an evaluation of the capacities of the Measles-Rubella laboratory of the Centre Pasteur du Cameroun (CPC).

The voluntary evaluation proposed to the partner countries of the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is based on a checklist to which Cameroon, through the CPC, is the second country to be submitted. It is a tool for analysing the capacities of international measles and rubella laboratories that was developed in 2018, thanks to a collaboration between the CDC and the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL).

The assessment mission led by Erik Reisdorf (APHL), Diane Waku-Koumou (CDC), Brandi Limbago (CDC) and Will Clara (CDC) focused on diagnosis, measles and rubella surveillance, identification of laboratory strengths, opportunities for improvement in a wide variety of functions (safety, laboratory management, virus isolation, etc.). At the end of the evaluation, the evaluators congratulated all laboratory staff and identified several strengths, the main ones being the advanced performance in successfully performing measles and rubella IgM tests and real-time PCR, with genotyping capabilities; or in the CPC's ability to work collaboratively with key partners, including the Ministry of Health, epidemiologists, district public health officials, the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the CDC, in the context of measles and rubella control activities.

The information that will emerge from this assessment can help Cameroon, the CDC, the CPC and other stakeholders to determine the best way to direct resources, as well as to identify training and/or technical assistance needs. According to Maurice Demanou, head of the Measles-Rubella laboratory at the CPC, it is important for a laboratory to have its capacities regularly evaluated by an external entity in order to improve its weak points. This approach has already been adopted by the Centre Pasteur du Cameroun as a whole, by completing the SLIPTA programme as part of the continuous improvement process of its services. It should be noted that this type of evaluation reinforces the close links that the CPC already has with WHO, donors and international laboratory networks such as the Global Network of Laboratories for the Control of Measles and Rubella (GMRLN), of which the CPC is a member.

This paper has first been published by Centre Pasteur du Cameroun. It has been translated in English by Afriscitech.


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