RITM staff recertified as Level 1  Malaria Microscopist and Top 1 Performer in ECAMM Workshop
Mr. Sherwin Galit (1st Row, 2nd from right) representing Philippines in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) ECAMM workshop held in Nairobi, Kenya last June 27 to July 1, 2022.

Mr. Sherwin A. Galit of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) was recertified with the Level 1  Malaria Microscopist certificate and Top 1 performer in the recently concluded External Competency Assessment for Malaria Microscopy (ECAMM) Workshop by the World Health Organization (WHO) last June 27 to July 1, 2022 in Nairobi, Kenya.

WHO awarded Mr. Galit the Level 1 or Expert certification and recognized him as the top performer among the twelve (12) selected microscopists from the three WHO regions: West Pacific, South East Asia, and Africa. 

Through a standard set of validated sites from the WHO Malaria Slide Bank, the participants were assessed for their proficiency in parasite detection, species identification, and parasite density calculation by an external facilitator designated by WHO.

Participants were assigned a level from 1 to 4, based on the competence demonstrated in the assessments. Only those who achieved level 1 or 2 were awarded with the certificate that is valid for the next three (3) years.

Part of my role as Level 1 malaria microscopist is to provide quality training to laboratory technicians in the correct diagnosis of malaria species.  In this way, an early and correct diagnosis of malaria can greatly help our patients to receive appropriate treatment, thus halting their suffering (of patients) and the spread of the disease,” says Mr. Galit, dedicating his notable achievement to various affected stakeholders.

Each participant is an active member of their respective national core group of microscopists, or serves as a microscopist playing key roles in quality assurance for the National Malaria Control and Elimination Program or other national institutions supporting the Department of Health in quality assurance of malaria microscopy. 

The core group of competent microscopists drives the national malaria control program by running the national competence assessment, slide validation for quality control and expertise in investigating suspected false negative results of RDTs, conducting therapeutic efficacy studies of antimalarial medicines, and strengthening surveillance through training and laboratory supervision.

All malaria endemic countries need quality assured microscopy because it represents over 45% of parasitological confirmed malaria diagnosis in the world. WHO recommends ECAMM as one of the basic activities to ensure competence of the core group of experts in malaria microscopy in each country. 

Mr. Galit is a Supervising Science Research Specialist and the Head of the Training Unit & Diagnostic Section of the National Reference Laboratory for Malaria & Other Parasites under the Parasitology Department.

by Reina D. Manongsong, Communication and Engagement Office