The Department of Virology became the ‘WHO National Measles Laboratory’ in 2015 and has been serving as the reference centre for serological testing of measles and rubella
Underwent previously for external audit in 2016, 2018 and 2019 as per WHO guidelines.
Chandigarh, June 5
Under the aegis of World Health Organization (WHO), a delegation headed by Dr. Deepa K Sharma & Dr. Nirmal Kaundal from WCO-India (WHO country office, India) and Dr. Purva Sarkate from NCDC, New Delhi visited the Department of Virology, PGIMER, Chandigarh on 2nd and 3rd June 2022 for the fourth external audit.
The Department of Virology became the ‘WHO National Measles Laboratory’ in 2015 and has been serving as the reference centre for serological testing of measles and rubella and underwent previously for external audit in 2016, 2018 and 2019 as per WHO guidelines. From mid 2019, the centre has also started molecular testing for measles and rubella and this was the first external audit for molecular testing.
To keep up with the ambitious global goal of measles and rubella elimination by 2023, the Department of Virology in association with WHO has been instrumental in outbreak surveillance for the past six years and have also recently initiated case-based surveillance in a phased manner.
In the welcome address, Dr Mini P Singh, Professor & Laboratory in-charge welcomed the delegates and further showcased the departmental activities in her introductory presentation. The department has been a part of external quality assurance scheme (EQAS) with King Institute of Preventive Medicine, Chennai and Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory (VIDRL), Australia and achieved perfect proficiency scores which is an indication of the quality reports generated by any laboratory.
The delegation also met Professor Vivek Lal, Director, PGIMER and appreciated the efforts made by the lab in keeping the timeliness of reporting in spite of the huge workload of COVID-19 diagnostics. The Director also ensured the WHO team for full support from the Institute for maintaining the high quality standards for better patient care and management.
During the two day visit, the delegates critically analysed the entire process of serological and molecular testing of measles and rubella in the department and gave their expert suggestions for the same. A meticulous evaluation covering all aspects of testing was done by the experts who appreciated the quality standards being maintained in the department. The department has yet again achieved the status of WHO accreditation for carrying out serology and molecular testing for measles and rubella.