The PPTC’S teaching and training programmes
Teaching and training is provided in one of four ways:
- By means of short-term courses of one month duration at the Centre in Wellington
- By in-country courses with PPTC educators travelling to provide on-site training
- By short-term training attachments in appropriate New Zealand medical laboratories where training in a specific medical laboratory skill is required
- Through distance learning programmes
- Regional External Quality Assessment Programme [REQA]
The health laboratory disciplines covered include Haematology, Transfusion Science, Clinical Biochemistry, Medical Microbiology, Infectious Diseases Serology, Histology, Medical Cytology and Laboratory Quality Management.
As part of its WHO collaborating role, the PPTC provides consultative services for health laboratory’s and blood transfusion services throughout the Pacific Island and South East Asian regions by advising in aspects of medical laboratory science, clinical management and areas of policy development. Staff have been consultants for the World Health Organization, New Zealand Government, New Zealand Red Cross, Pacific Leprosy Trust Foundation and have involvement in most Pacific Island countries, Papua New Guinea, Vietnam, Cambodia, China, Lao Peoples Democratic Republic, Philippines, Mongolia and Nepal.
The Centre is involved with regional programmes funded through the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria [GFATM] especially as they relate to the laboratory diagnosis of STIs including HIV/AIDS. The PPTC has reviewed all of the Pacific Island laboratories for their capacity to diagnose these infections and in-country training programmes are continuing to up-skill laboratory staff. The PPTC in collaboration with WHO delivered a teaching course on Laboratory Diagnosis of STIs including HIV through WHO’s Pacific Open Learning Health Net [POLHN] and recently completed in-country practical workshops associated with this programme in 12 Pacific Island Countries.
A major responsibility of the PPTC has been to develop and maintain an appropriate Regional External Quality Assessment Programme [REQA] for the health laboratory services in the Pacific and South East Asian regions. This programme involves the provision of quality control materials, the evaluation of results and collaboration with laboratories to drive quality improvements that will enhance their diagnostic services.
To maximise the progress made by laboratories participating in this Regional External Quality Assessment Programme, the Centre has expanded its commitment to quality by assisting laboratories to establish and progress the implementation of Laboratory Quality Management Systems into their services.