03 Sep 03 September 2014
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Prevention Benefits of Antiretroviral Therapy in Caribbean HIV Patients

The theme of the 3rd CHART-CCAS-CMLF Conference was “Prevention benefits of antiretroviral therapy in Caribbean HIV patients: the central role of patient engagement in the continuum of care”. The conference explored case studies, reports and research from the Caribbean in areas such as: what constitutes a successful HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention program, HIV testing capable of reaching vulnerable populations, destigmatising HIV, diagnosis and recruitment of HIV positive persons into care, retaining and monitoring patients during care to ensure effective drug adherence.

The conference also addressed key issues related to strengthening laboratory quality management systems and networks in the Caribbean, monitoring of access and quality of laboratory services, advances in laboratory networks and progress of regional initiatives.

Dr. Durant, the Project Coordinator for LQMS-SIP at CROSQ, delivered a presentation entitled “Progress in the implementation of the Laboratory Quality Management System Stepwise Improvement Process (LQMS-SIP) Towards Accreditation in the Caribbean”. The objective was to advocate and promote the LQMS-SIP as an important process by which medical laboratories can work towards their ISO 15189 accreditation and also to explain the benefits of the stepwise process for improving quality management systems throughout the region. Medical laboratory services play a critical role in supporting the care of patients at all stages, from diagnosis, identification and monitoring of treatment therefore high quality laboratories are essential.

The LQMS-SIP is a comprehensive framework for strengthening medical and public health laboratory services throughout CARICOM. It is designed to recognize laboratories in the process of quality improvement, assess their progress and recognize milestones towards meeting the requirements of the ISO 15189: 2012 Medical Laboratories - Requirements for Quality and Competence. It is being supported by the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDs Relief (PEPFAR), through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with funding through the African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET) and implemented by CROSQ.

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