Since 2009, ASM has collaborated with the National Public Health Reference Laboratory (NPHRL) located in Georgetown, Guyana on strengthening its capacity to perform tuberculosis (TB) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) diagnostic testing. Timely and accurate TB diagnostics are critical for improving public health in Guyana, and ASM led efforts to provide installation, training, and validation of the NPHRL’s new GeneXpert MTB/RIF equipment. In addition to practical training sessions, ASM developed validation procedures, prepared lists of necessary reagents and supplies, and drafted SOPs on the GeneXpert MTB/RIF test and specimen collection and transport. The new equipment has been installed correctly, and all technicians have been trained successfully on its use, which will assist in the proper diagnosis of TB in Guyana.
In addition to TB diagnostics, ASM has been leading efforts to identify and implement STI rapid diagnostic testing kits at the National Laboratory. Over the past two years, ASM has led an STI needs assessment of the microbiology unit, identified four priority diseases (chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis B, and syphilis) in Guyana, pre-selected and procured corresponding STI rapid diagnostic testing (RDT) kits, and designed a pilot implementation program for complete roll-out and scale-up of STI RDT kits slated to launch in Summer 2015.
ASM in Guyana
- TB Culture: since 2011, 6 people trained
- Fluorescence Microscopy: in 2013, 6 people trained during workshops
- Technical Assistance: benefitting 9 people from 25 unique institutions
- STI Diagnostics: 1 STI needs assessment completed along with development of 4 virtual lectures on priority STIs
- Tuberculosis (TB) diagnostic test strengthening
- GeneXpert MTB/RIF training and validation
- Increased sexually-transmitted infection (STI) diagnosis and control
STI Diagnostic Capacity Building: From A to Z
Over the past several years, ASM has led an STI needs assessment of the microbiology unit at the NPHRL, identified four priority diseases (chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis B, and syphilis) in Guyana, pre-selected and procured corresponding STI rapid diagnostic testing (RDT) kits, and designed a pilot implementation program for complete roll-out and scale-up of STI RDT kits slated to launch in Summer 2015.
To complement the in-country activities completed thus far and to promote the sustainability of the program, ASM also created an STI virtual training package for long-term use by laboratory personnel. This electronic training package consists of pre-recorded lectures for each of the priority diseases and cover a variety of topics including disease overviews, alternative diagnostic methods, the use of rapid diagnostic testing kits in the laboratory setting, and WHO and CDC recommendations on diagnostic standards.
In the coming months, ASM will continue working closely with CDC and the NPHRL staff on implementing the STI RDT kit pilot and training program. In addition, ASM plans to implement a training of trainers (TOT) program to promote sustainability of the STI diagnostics project in Guyana. Finally, ASM will assist with implementation of a quality assurance cycle for the RDT kits and administration of competency assessments for all trainees. This will ensure that the kits are utilized accurately, which will strengthen the impact of the program potentially also the incidence of chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis B, and syphilis in Guyana.
BioResource Centers (BRCs)
The purpose of the BioResource Center (BRC) is to provide scientists, educators, laboratorians, policy makers, and students with cutting-edge scientific resources, training, and increase their knowledge-base of biological sciences. The BRC in Guyana serves as a location for scientists and stakeholder to convene; offer access to cutting-edge scientific resources; and provide ongoing professional development training through scientific webinars, virtual workshops, and also on-site workshops and lectures.
BRC at the University of Guyana
Contact: Cecil Boston, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mailing Address of BRC:
Ambassadors to Guyana
The Country Ambassador is a senior scientist that represents ASM in Guyana, facilitating partnerships and exchanges with other scientists worldwide, while the ASM Young Ambassador is a dynamic young leader, who also represents ASM in Guyana, facilitating networking, professional development, and collaboration to strengthen science globally. The ASM Young Ambassador mobilizes the next generation of scientists to develop innovative approaches to meet the Grand Challenges in Science.
Country Ambassador - Ede Tyrell
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Young Ambassador - Paul Cheddie
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For more information on ASM's Guyana program,
please contact Nisha Puntambekar at email@example.com.