Chapter 12. Quality assurance, quality control, and assessment of laboratory capacity and performance

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Overview

The laboratories in the GMRLN provide test results for measles and rubella that are critical to outbreak control measures and policy decisions related to disease surveillance. The true impact of immunization activities can often be determined only through high quality, laboratory-based surveillance. The importance of laboratory support for disease surveillance has been underscored in the essential criteria for verification of elimination and the role of the laboratory in meeting quality indicators for surveillance. The laboratory must demonstrate that the test results and sequencing data are generated through standard operating procedures that are designed with appropriate quality assurance and quality control elements and that the laboratory has met required accreditation or performance standards.

The laboratories in the global measles and rubella laboratory network (GMRLN) participate in an external quality assessment (EQA) programme administered through WHO and a network accreditation programme, described in sections 12.5 and section 12.6, respectively.