NTRL capacitates 7 trainers on TB Smear Microscopy
One of the participants discussing their case presentation on Training Planning and Management during the last day of the SM-TOT training course at NTRL, RITM

The National Tuberculosis Reference Laboratory (NTRL), through its Learning and Development Section (LDS) capacitated seven (7) staff from the TB Laboratory Network in its recent Training of Trainers on TB Smear Microscopy (SM-TOT) last October 10-14, 2022 at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).

The participants, who represented the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Bicol Region, and Davao Region, underwent a five-day training course which equipped them with the knowledge and skills required in administering the training on TB Smear Microscopy for implementers in their respective regions.

“This training course equips the participants to lead, manage, and conduct the training program on TB smear microscopy for implementers based on the quality standards set by NTRL,” explained NTRL LDS OIC-Head Louis Andrew Olazo.

The soon-to-be trainers successfully proposed their plans for TB smear microscopy training, delivered lecture presentations, demonstrated laboratory activities, and provided feedback using standard assessment forms.

After the completion of the training, the participants must conduct and pass their preceptorship activity, under the supervision of NTRL-LDS, which will officially certify their competency as trainers of TB smear microscopy.

According to Olazo, there is a continuous need to build and maintain the capacity of laboratory staff in performing TB smear microscopy as it remains to play a vital role in monitoring a TB patient’s progress in treatment.

At present, it is one of the laboratory tests routinely used by the National TB Control Program in the whole course of TB treatment monitoring.

“The Philippines remains to be among the countries with a high-TB incidence rate. It is our hope that more trainers and implementers of TB smear microscopy are shaped through this training,” said NTRL Head Dr. Ramon P. Basilio.

NTRL is one of the many National Reference Laboratories (NRLs) housed in RITM. It is the laboratory arm of the National Tuberculosis Program (NTP) in the country mandated to conduct operational research, clinical research, and laboratory research especially for new diagnostics in support of clinical research for new TB drugs and vaccines.

by Allenor Enciso, Communication and Engagement Office