UNIDO supports new SARS-CoV-2 proficiency tests in Colombia

To provide a quality assurance alternative and to support testing laboratories performing nucleic acid amplification tests for SARS-CoV-2 detection, the National Metrology Institute of Colombia (INM), in coordination with the National Health Institute of Colombia (INS) and with the support of the Global Quality and Standards Programme (GQSP Colombia), has developed and launched a proficiency test intended to the authorized laboratory network by the Colombian Ministry of Health which today reaches more than 130 laboratories.

This new metrological service will be offered for free with the objective of evaluating the performance of the laboratories in detecting the SARS-CoV-2 virus by RT-PCR, and identifying improvement opportunities in the measurement capabilities of these laboratories. “This is one of the biggest proficiency testing developed by the INM, the first one in molecular biology techniques and a pioneer exercise in Latin America, fully aligned with the current measurements and comparison activities developed among National Metrology Institutes led by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM)” said Edwin Cristancho, General Director of the INM.

This proficiency test constitutes a new technical capacity for the INM and was developed under the framework of an institutional strengthening plan led by the GQSP Colombia, which started in 2019 and looks for the creation of new metrological public goods and services, the generation of national laboratory capacities with focus on the chemical value chain and the boosting of the chemical metrology in Colombia.

The GQSP Colombia is part of the Global Quality Standards Programme (GQSP), financed by SECO and implemented by UNIDO, that includes in total 10 country projects across the world and is designed to encourage systematic trade development along specific value chains by strengthening quality infrastructure institutions and service providers, enhancing the compliance capacity of private sector actors, particularly small and medium enterprises, and creating a culture of quality among all stakeholders.

For more information contact Juan Pablo Díaz-Castillo (J.Diaz-Castillo [at] unido.org)