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Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2014 Jul 25; 63(29):634-637.Since 2008, the World Health Organization (WHO) has coordinated the Global Rotavirus Surveillance Network, a network of sentinel surveillance hospitals and laboratories that report to ministries of health (MoHs) and WHO clinical features and rotavirus testing data for children aged <5 years hospitalized with acute gastroenteritis. In 2013, WHO conducted a strategic review to assess surveillance network performance, provide recommendations for strengthening the network, and assess the network’s utility as a platform for other vaccine-preventable disease surveillance. The strategic review team determined that during 2011 and 2012, a total of 79 sites in 37 countries met reporting and testing inclusion criteria for data analysis. Of the 37 countries with sites meeting inclusion criteria, 13 (35%) had introduced rotavirus vaccine nationwide. All 79 sites included in the analysis were meeting 2008 network objectives of documenting presence of disease and describing disease epidemiology, and all countries were using the rotavirus surveillance data for vaccine introduction decisions, disease burden estimates, and advocacy; countries were in the process of assessing the use of this surveillance platform for other vaccine-preventable diseases. However, the review also indicated that the network would benefit from enhanced management, standardized data formats, linkage of clinical data with laboratory data, and additional resources to support network functions. In November 2013, WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) endorsed the findings and recommendations made by the review team and noted potential opportunities for using the network as a platform for other vaccine-preventable disease surveillance. WHO will work to implement the recommendations to improve the network’s functions and to provide higher quality surveillance data for use in decisions related to vaccine introduction and vaccination program sustainability.
Progress of implementation of the World Health Organization strategy for HIV drug resistance control in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Revista Panamericana De Salud Publica. 2011 Dec; 30(6):657-62.By the end of 2010, Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) achieved 63% antiretroviral treatment (ART) coverage. Measures to control HIV drug resistance (HIVDR) at the country level are recommended to maximize the efficacy and sustainability of ART programs. Since 2006, the Pan American Health Organization has supported implementation of the World Health Organization (WHO) strategy for HIVDR prevention and assessment through regional capacity-building activities and direct technical cooperation in 30 LAC countries. By 2010, 85 sites in 19 countries reported early warning indicators, providing information about the extent of potential drivers of drug resistance at the ART site. In 2009, 41.9% of sites did not achieve the WHO target of 100% appropriate first-line prescriptions; 6.3% still experienced high rates (> 20%) of loss to follow-up, and 16.2% had low retention of patients (< 70%) on first-line prescriptions in the first year of treatment. Stock-outs of antiretroviral drugs occurred at 22.7% of sites. Haiti, Guyana, and the Mesoamerican region are planning and implementing WHO HIVDR monitoring surveys or threshold surveys. New HIVDR surveillance tools for concentrated epidemics would promote further scale-up. Extending the WHO HIVDR lab network in Latin America is key to strengthening regional lab capacity to support quality assured HIVDR surveillance. The WHO HIVDR control strategy is feasible and can be rolled out in LAC. Integrating HIVDR activities in national HIV care and treatment plans is key to ensuring the sustainability of this strategy.
The WHO/PEPFAR collaboration to prepare an operations manual for HIV prevention, care, and treatment at primary health centers in high-prevalence, resource-constrained settings: defining laboratory services.
American Journal of Clinical Pathology. 2009 Jun; 131(6):887-94.The expansion of HIV/AIDS care and treatment in resource-constrained countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, has generally developed in a top-down manner. Further expansion will involve primary health centers where human and other resources are limited. This article describes the World Health Organization/President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief collaboration formed to help scale up HIV services in primary health centers in high-prevalence, resource-constrained settings. It reviews the contents of the Operations Manual developed, with emphasis on the Laboratory Services chapter, which discusses essential laboratory services, both at the center and the district hospital level, laboratory safety, laboratory testing, specimen transport, how to set up a laboratory, human resources, equipment maintenance, training materials, and references. The chapter provides specific information on essential tests and generic job aids for them. It also includes annexes containing a list of laboratory supplies for the health center and sample forms.
Washington, D.C., World Bank, Knowledge and Learning Center, 2005 Nov.  p. (Findings Infobriefs No. 118; Good Practice Infobrief)The Mali Multi-sectoral AIDS Project (MAP) began implementation in late 2004 and is in the preliminary phases of the project cycle. This project has been commended by the World Bank's Board for its innovation and the involvement of the private sector to address HIV/AIDS. Mali is one of the poorest countries in the world due to factors such as its limited resource base, land-locked status and poor infrastructure. According to the 2001 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) published by the Ministry of Health, Mali's HIV/AIDS prevalence rate is estimated at 1.7% in 2001. The project objective is to support the Government of Malis efforts to control the spread of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and provide sustainable access to treatment and care to those infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS. While Mali currently has a low HIV prevalence rate by Sub-Saharan African standards, it runs a high risk of experiencing an increase in prevalence rates. (excerpt)
Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2007 May; 85(5):325-420.Laboratories and laboratory networks are a fundamental component of tuberculosis (TB) control, providing testing for diagnosis, surveillance and treatment monitoring at every level of the health-care system. New initiatives and resources to strengthen laboratory capacity and implement rapid and new diagnostic tests for TB will require recognition that laboratories are systems that require quality standards, appropriate human resources, and attention to safety in addition to supplies and equipment. To prepare the laboratory networks for new diagnostics and expanded capacity, we need to focus efforts on strengthening quality management systems (QMS) through additional resources for external quality assessment programmes for microscopy, culture, drug susceptibility testing (DST) and molecular diagnostics. QMS should also promote development of accreditation programmes to ensure adherence to standards to improve both the quality and credibility of the laboratory system within TB programmes. Corresponding attention must be given to addressing human resources at every level of the laboratory, with special consideration being given to new programmes for laboratory management and leadership skills. Strengthening laboratory networks will also involve setting up partnerships between TB programmes and those seeking to control other diseases in order to pool resources and to promote advocacy for quality standards, to develop strategies to integrate laboratories' functions and to extend control programme activities to the private sector. Improving the laboratory system will assure that increased resources, in the form of supplies, equipment and facilities, will be invested in networks that are capable of providing effective testing to meet the goals of the Global Plan to Stop TB. (author's)