Department of Food Science and Nutrition Research, Ethiopian Public Health Institute, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
External Quality Assurance Scheme (EQAS) is the system which allows every laboratory to compare its overall performance with other internal and external existing laboratories, working in similar disciplines. Significant improvements were reported in different laboratories and countries after attending one or more of such programs. The project objective was to assess EQAS participation level in Salmonella and Shigella species that had been processed for six years under WHO-AFRO GSS EQAS program.
Samples received for Salmonella and Shigella species, as well as Campylobacter and other unknown enteric pathogens identification were directly inoculated to the suitable and selective media according to the type of organisms. Serogroups were reported using terms according to Kauffmann-White-Le Minor procedures. For antimicrobial susceptibility testing, drug diffusion method and CLSI interpretation guideline was used.
From the overall participation (2008-2013), serogrouping results were correctly reported as 62/ 71 (87%). None of the deviations was recorded for Shigella species. Participation for Campylobacter species was only twice per six years, in 2009 and 2010; the results of agreement with the expected values were ½ (50%) and 2/2 (100%) respectively. In line with this, the antimicrobial susceptibility participation was correctly reported as 320/356 (89.9%).
Even though everyone has gained knowledge and awareness about the benefits of EQAS by default, its acceptance and implementation in developing countries are less communicated and exercised. The final recommendation will be that all higher officials and policymakers in the field have to give attention to it and allocate adequate budget on a continuous basis.
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