RITM conducts competency-based training on malaria microscopy
Training participants performing hands-on exercises on malaria microscopy

The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), through its Parasitology Department, conducted the Competency-based Training on the Microscopic Diagnosis of Malaria for two batches of medical technologists from various government and private health facilities and laboratories across the country.

The four-day training course was a hybrid with two modality of instructions. The first two days were held online via Zoom and the RITM-LEARN portal, while the remaining two days were conducted as face-to-face sessions.

The online session for the first batch was held on November 7-8, 2022 and the online session for the second batch was on November 9-10, 2022; while the face-to-face sessions were conducted on November 14-15 and November 16-17 at the B Hotel, Muntinlupa City, respectively. Both batches had 18 participants each.

World Health Organization (WHO) Level 1 Malaria microscopists–certified experts on the subject matter and experienced facilitators led the training to ensure that each participant received appropriate guidance and reached the required levels of proficiency. The training provided the participants with the knowledge and skills necessary for establishing standards in advanced malaria microscopy in their respective facilities. 

A wide range of highly effective educational methods and techniques including, but not limited to the following were used: demonstration of the four human malaria parasites including typical and atypical parasite morphology; individual microscopy work using well-maintained microscopes; group discussions on the morphology of malaria parasites using microscopic PathoZoom software; and video presentation of diagnostic procedures. 

The trainees were guided through each Module of the WHO Learner’s Guide and Bench Aids for Malaria Microscopy which served as the main references for this training. In addition, only high-quality and well-validated malaria blood films from a repository that is of international standards was used for all the microscopy sessions. 

Designated as a WHO Collaborating Center for Malaria diagnosis since 2011, the RITM Parasitology Department currently houses the National Reference Laboratory for Malaria and Other Parasites.

by Reina D. Manongsong, CEO and Sherwin A. Galit, Parasitology Department