Quality Control: a Network of Laboratories. Essential Drugs Monitor No. 008 (1989)
(1989; 1 page)


In 1984 a study was done by the WHO Regional Office for the Americas to understand the problems behind a lack of quality control in Latin America. After the study, it was decided that an operational network of national quality control centres would be established to facilitate information sharing and the mobilization of national and international resources. Many quality control labs existed before the Network, but their work often went to waste. One reason for this was that samples were commonly taken in conditions that did not meet standards for statistical validity. The Network accomplished many milestones in its first four years, including the establishment of standards for good laboratory practice, a regional programme for external quality control and other programmes for creating reference material. Funding from CIBA-GEIGY, Switzerland and USAID enabled the Network to update their libraries with sets of key literature. The Network strategy also includes a series of training workshops for senior and middle-level laboratory staff. Challenges the Network will need to overcome include a lack of integration with community public health programmes and poor communication between technical and political levels.

Abstract written by M. Tobin, 2013.

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