Furthering National Laboratory Capabilities in order to fight measles and rubella

Detecting communicable diseases is impossible without the aid of precise laboratory data regarding the whereabouts of the diseases’ circulation. As a result, WHO/Europe has cooperated with Member States to gradually improve the quality and reliability of the data obtained from the lab that is used to figure out the progress against measles and rubella. The biggest step forward is to show support for current research made by certified laboratories in the developing countries, in a bid to encourage accurate data to be collected.

The diseases Measles and Rubella are under the target for elimination in the European Region. The European Regional Verification Commission for Measles and Rubella Elimination (RVC) meet annually and review reports regarding which countries are still overrun by the epidemic and their progress. To properly decide, the RVC relies on accurate data and proof as well as the lab results of several cases as well as the number of children vaccinated every year. The more a country wants to eliminate the diseases, the greater need there is of reliable lab data.

Who/Europe conducts the European Measles and Rubella Laboratory Network (MR LabNet). The labs in this network go through rigorous programs that require accreditation. They learn much from the meetings as well as technical updates and education.

As is the case with numerous Member states, the testing for measles and rubella are often conducted in non-WHO labs and many Member states fail to account for the lack of information regarding lab profieciency. Making national labs stronger for the overseeing of the situation of smaller labs in these parts has become vital in controlling measles and rubella elimination efforts.

Having been given the support of the health authorities, WHO-related labs have started to use different techniques to make sure that quality work is being conducted in order to efficiently tackle the epidemic.