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Improving the quality of COVID-19 testing in the Arab region

The Arab Accreditation Cooperation (ARAC) has launched an initiative, with the support of UNIDO, to target 50 clinical microbiology laboratories from ARAC member countries to strengthen Proficiency Testing (PT) on SARS-CoV-2 Molecular in the coming weeks. This initiative, which is expected to be the first of its kind in the Arab region, will help the participating laboratories to add a level of quality assurance, help ensure that they deliver accurate and reliable COVID-19 test results, allow to meet requirements for alternative performance assessment, and enable to assess their entire workflow from nucleic acid extraction all the way to detection.

The ARAC COVID-19 PT Program is aligned with ARAC and UNIDO’s commitment to address the COVID-19 pandemic in the Arab region, where the virus continues to threaten the lives and livelihood of millions of people, and where countries rely exceedingly on accurate and timely testing to control and mitigate its negative impact.

The ARAC COVID-19 PT Program will be implemented in compliance with the International Standards ISO/IEC 17043:2010 “Conformity assessment-General requirements for proficiency testing” and ISO 13528:2015 “Statistical methods for use in proficiency testing by inter-laboratory comparison” by a competent PT provider accredited by an International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation Mutual Recognition Arrangement (ILAC MRA) signatory, and will follow a number of steps and protocols to ensure the confidentiality and efficiency of the results. Once the program is implemented, laboratories from participating ARAC member states will have increased capacity and accuracy to detect COVID-19 cases, providing the countries with an important tool to combat the pandemic and preserve human life. 

For more information contact Rafik Feki (R.Feki [at] unido.org).

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