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Global Health Partnerships Team Helps Azerbaijan Veterinary Laboratory Achieve Mission of Preventing Outbreaks

Last week, a laboratory in Azerbaijan, where CLSI’s Global Health Partnerships (GHP) team has worked for two years, made headlines by preventing an anthrax outbreak.1 The anthrax exposure was discovered in a flock of migrating sheep, which were vaccinated to stop the disease from spreading.

Most of the clinical laboratories supported by the GHP program provide services for their countries’ health care systems, but the GHP team has recently worked with two veterinary laboratories as part of a United States–led effort to monitor for extremely dangerous pathogens.

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GHP is currently assisting the Republican Veterinary Laboratory (RVL) in Azerbaijan with the implementation of quality management systems (QMS) and is preparing the staff to apply for International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 17025 accreditation. GHP previously helped a veterinary laboratory in the Republic of Georgia to establish QMS.

The GHP team began working with RVL after the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency spent more than $1 million on extensive renovations to the laboratory, which is operated by Azerbaijan’s State Veterinary Service. The project updated the laboratory’s conference facilities for training and added a laboratory with new equipment to enable Azerbaijan’s authorities to quickly identify and respond to outbreaks of disease.

To lead the effort to establish QMS, RVL’s laboratory director created a Quality Team consisting of a Quality Officer, Equipment Officer, Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) Officer, and Safety Officer. After each visit, a GHP team member assigns tasks to the Quality Team that they must complete before the next GHP visit. To date, the Quality Team has accomplished a variety of assignments, including the development of SOPs for diagnostics and equipment, documents and records retention plans, inventory policies and procedures, and job descriptions.

Faisal Ibrahim, MBA, MT(ASCP), a GHP contractor who has been the lead mentor to the Azerbaijan laboratory, will make his sixth visit to RVL in the first week of July 2013 to review the new quality manual. “The RVL laboratory director’s commitment to quality has simplified our efforts to implement QMS,” Ibrahim said. Ibrahim will return in September 2013 with GHP Director Frances Ingersoll, MS, MLS (ASCP), to conduct a post-QMS implementation assessment.


1The Cattle Site. Anthrax Confirmed in Migrating Livestock. http://www.thecattlesite.com/news/42714/anthrax-confirmed-in-migrating-livestock. Accessed June 7, 2013. Accessed June 7, 2013.

 

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CLSI touched every element of laboratory operations. The laboratory staff appreciated the continuing education on quality control, safety, and documentation.”

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