Search International Blog


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Volume 3 | Issue 14

 Botswana MycologyTraining July2015 resizePhoto (Update #1): Laboratory technicians apply new skills acquired from ASM mycology workshop.

1. ASM Kicks Off Mycology Training in Botswana
Last month, two ASM consultants worked with a group of 13 laboratory technicians from the National Health Laboratory (NHL), several referral laboratories, two district laboratories, and the University of Botswana - Department of Microbiology. The consultants implemented a mycology training workshop that covered a range of topics including: diagnostic best practices, epidemiology, classification and clinical impact of yeast infections. In the coming months, both consultants will be returning to implement a follow-up mycology training workshop that will cover more advanced topics such as molds and other filamentous fungi. This specific workshop involved didactic lectures, followed by hands-on laboratory practical sessions. Overall feedback was extremely positive, with all trainees expressing excitement in anticipation of Part II of the mycology workshop series, to be implemented later this year. For more information, contact Nisha Puntambekar (

2. ASM Awarded New Contract to Implement Fluorescence Microscopy for TB Testing in Haiti
This week, ASM received a subcontract from the University of Maryland-Baltimore to implement programs in Haiti. This funding will enable ASM to continue implementing fluorescence microscopy (FM) training and conduct FM validation exercises for laboratories across the country. FM training is particularly important in Haiti since laboratories are transitioning their diagnostic procedures from using the Ziehl-Neelsen (ZN) method to the more accurate FM method. ASM has been spearheading the effort to transition the country from zero laboratories trained to having technicians trained at 65 sites. For more information, please contact Nisha Puntambekar (

3. Poster Accepted: “Program to Revitalize Clinical Microbiology Labs in Mozambique”
The Direccao Nacional de Assistencia Medica (DNAM) within the Ministry of Health (MOH) of Mozambique, in collaboration with ASM, submitted an abstract entitled “Programa De Revitalização Dos Laboratórios De Microbiologia Clínica Em Moçambique”  (“Program to Revitalize Clinical Microbiology Laboratories in Mozambique”) that was  accepted for poster presentation at the conference “XV Jornadas de Saúde,” to be held in September 2015 at the International Convention Center Joaquim Alberto Chissano in the city of Maputo. The abstract aimed at sharing the importance of revitalizing the ability and capability of clinical microbiology laboratories for improved patient outcomes in the country. Microbiology laboratories are the most neglected, despite the large impact of infectious diseases such as HIV and opportunistic infections in morbidity and mortality in resource-constrained countries. To learn more, please contact Maritza Urrego (

4. Developing a Biosafety and Biosecurity Checklist for BSL-2 Laboratories in India
ASM has assisted the Society for Biosafety-India (SBS) in the development of a biosafety/biosecurity checklist for use in biosafety level 2 (BSL-2) labs. The checklist draft is being discussed by a multidisciplinary group of lab directors from across India in August 2015. When it is piloted and rolled out later this year, the checklist will provide the first comprehensive tool for assessment and improvement of biorisk management of BSL-2 labs in India. ASM is excited to contribute to the tools available for scientists to perform safe and secure research in India. For more information, please contact Janelle Winters (

5. Training the Trainers: ASM Coaches Top Lab Personnel in Nigeria
As an implementing partner of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and in collaboration with National TB and Leprosy Control Programme, ASM is currently supporting a Training of Trainers  Workshop  on Biosafety and an Infection Control (IC) for senior laboratory personnel over two weeks in Abuja, Nigeria in August 2015. This is part of the PEPFAR–Nigeria laboratory program efforts directed towards building the capacity of laboratory personnel in-country in the area of Biosafety and Infection Control. ASM consultants are training approximately 25 TB experts, biosafety officers, and other laboratory experts on facilitation of a customized Biosafety Training Package. It consists of six modules covering biosafety fundamentals, engineering controls, administrative controls, personal protective equipment, work practices, emergency procedures, and risk assessment. The Infection Control curriculum is crosscutting, featuring 11 lectures on multiple pathogens encountered in the clinical setting. To learn more, please contact Lynee Galley (

6. ASM Provides Valuable Training on Scientific Writing and Publishing in Thailand
Utilizing the ASM Virtual Workshop on Scientific Writing and Publishing presented by Dr. Roberto Kolter, ASM Country Ambassador to Thailand, Chanwit Tribuddharat, organized a workshop for 36 students and faculty at the Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University in late July. Feedback from the event was extremely positive, with an overall workshop rating of 4.5 out of 5. After the event,  Tribuddharat was approached by the President of the Genetics Society of Thailand and the Deputy Dean for Postgraduate Studies at Mahidol University, both of whom have asked Tribuddharat to arrange a series of ASM workshops at their events later this year. For more information, please contact Kirsten Bartlett (