Kyrgyz Republican Center for Quality Control of Laboratory Diagnosis of Infectious Diseases (RCQCLDID) will receive ISO/IEC 17043 international accreditation certificate during an official ceremony at the Preventive Medicine Research and Production Association in Bishkek. The Kyrgyz Ministry of Health and the U.S. Embassy in Kyrgyzstan will jointly award the certificate, issued by the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation on December 9, the U.S. Embassy said on December 5.

ISO/IEC 17043 is an internationally recognized standard for verifying and monitoring the performance of individual laboratories, or in technical terms, conduct proficiency testing. Proficiency testing is an essential part of laboratory quality procedures; it leads to continual improvement in public health laboratories, which provide vitally important services to the population.

Kyrgyz RCQCLDID is the first medical laboratory in Central Asia to receive ISO/IEC 17043 international accreditation. This is a major milestone for the country’s and the region’s public health sector. By participating in the internationally accredited proficiency testing programs, Kyrgyz medical laboratories will be able to improve quality of laboratory testing, ensure reliable test results, and enhance overall health care for patients nationwide. Medical laboratories from Central Asian countries can also take advantage of RCQCLDID’s proficiency testing services.

RCQCLDID is a national laboratory that develops and implements external quality assessment and proficiency testing programs for infectious disease diagnostic laboratories. It serves as the quality control for Kyrgyz medical laboratories, validates new diagnostic methods and verifies the accuracy of new test kits imported into the country. This helps doctors arrive at diagnosis faster and with greater certainty, start treatment earlier and potentially save lives.

The U.S. government has assisted with the implementation of international standards at RCQCLDID for several years through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

The official certificate award ceremony will be attended by the representatives of the Kyrgyz government, the U.S. Embassy, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), local healthcare institutions, and international donors.