EPI laboratory network - overview
WPRO has established laboratory networks especially relating to EPI-related diseases based on public health laboratories. EPI collaborates with over 400 public health laboratories in the region covering poliomyelitis, measles/rubella, Japanese encephalitis, rotavirus infection, bacterial meningitis, human papilloma virus and hepatitis B. To achieve the region's goal of measles elimination by 2012 and to maintain its poliomyelitis-free status, the role of these laboratory networks is critical. The performances of polio and measles/rubella network laboratories have been monitored through well established WHO accreditation system. During on site reviews using WHO accreditation checklists, laboratory procedures to maintain and ensure laboratory quality would be critically reviewed. Regional or sub-regional hands-on training courses have been conducted to keep and maintain the performance of laboratories to the accreditation level. Following the laboratory network model of poliomyelitis and measles/rubella, new laboratory networks to support Japanese encephalitis/acute encephalitis syndrome, rotavirus infection and bacterial meningitis have been developed in the region.