Our work in Myanmar

Myanmar - Strengthening laboratories for AMR and  strengthening the National TB Reference Laboratory and Upper Myanmar TB Center

Title: TB laboratory and laboratory systems strengthening and training

Code: D16-17, D17-07, D17-08, D18-04, D19-04

Date: September 2016 - February 2019

Location: Myanmar

Client: USAID Challenge TB through the KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation

Type of services:

  • Provision of a one-week training to 18 TB laboratory staff on Laboratory Biorisk Management
  • Provision of a one-week training to 19 TB laboratory staff in quality management and the use of the GLI tool
  • Provision of a one-week training for public health laboratory staff in quality management and the use of the LQSI tool
  • Provision of a one-week training on laboratory management and leadership for laboratory managers
  • Provision of training and mentorship on TB data management, analysis and visualization
  • Situational analysis at the National TB Reference Laboratory and Upper Myanmar TB Center
  • Provision of advice and facilitation of action planning for improvement activities
  • Monitoring LQMS implementation in 2 referral laboratories in Myanmar and provide workshop on TB data analysis and visualization


[21 Sep 2016] In September DATOS has organized its Training on Laboratory Biorisk Management to professionals of tuberculosis laboratories in Myanmar as part of USAID's ChallengeTB project.  During this training, Tjeerd Datema introduced participants to the new concept of biorisk management, which combines risk assessment, risk mitigation and performance systems. The participants are now able to apply a systematic method of biosafety and biosecurity risk assessment, eliminate or substitute risks, and formulate adequate mitigation measures based on the outcome of their risk assessment, and ensure effectiveness of their risk mitigation measures through performance management.

Big success - average score: 9 out of 10!

This  course was again highly valued by the participants, who gave the training an average score of 9 out of 10!

The participants also conducted a final test at the end of the training, which they completed with an average score of 8 out of 10. Source: //

[1 Dec 2016] From 28 November to 2 December DATOS provided a training on quality management for staff from three tuberculosis laboratories in Myanmar, among which the two largest TB laboratories in the country, the National TB Reference Laboratory (NTRL) and the Upper Myanmar TB Center (UMTBC). The training was organized by FHI360 in Myanmar under the USAID Challenge TB program and supported by the Government of Myanmar.

In September staff had received a three-day biorisk management training which was now expanded with a training on all aspects of quality management, including the use of the Global Laboratory Initiative Stepwise Implementation towards TB Laboratory Accreditation (“GLI Tool”) to help the laboratories with the implementation of a quality management system.

At the end of the training the laboratories prepared action plans to start with the implementation. This will help the laboratories to implement a quality management system and fulfill End TB Strategy objective 12: The NTRLs of high-burden TB countries should be ISO 15189 accredited by 2020. Source: //

[31 Jan 2017] Last year DATOS provided training courses on Laboratory Biorisk Management and Laboratory Quality Management to employees of Myanmar’s National TB Reference Laboratory and the Upper Myanmar TB Center. This month Linda Oskam and Tjeerd Datema conducted the next step by performing a situational analysis at both laboratories. This informs the best way forward in improving both laboratories such that they can serve the Myanmar health sector optimally by applying the latest diagnostic techniques for TB in accordance with quality management standards. Source: //

[12 May 2017] After our successful Biorisk Management course in September 2016 and Laboratory Quality Management training for TB laboratory staff in November/December 2016, we are now back in Myanmar to train more laboratory professionals in Laboratory Quality Management. From 8 to 12 May 2017 twenty-two senior staff from a number of hospital- and reference laboratories are attending this 5-day interactive course in Yangon.

During this week we train the participants in understanding and implementing quality management in their laboratories. We also empower them to start the implementation directly after the course by helping them to make and implement action plans. As you can see from the picture it is not only hard work, but also great fun! Source: //

[22 May 2017] Many laboratory managers all over the world rise to that position through the ranks and have never received any formal management training before they were appointed as a manager. However, management is a profession and asks for professional development to acquire strong management and leadership skills.

From 15 to 19 May DATOS provided training to 16 enthusiastic, and deeply involved laboratory and programme managers on how to manage and lead laboratories successfully. During this highly intensive, 1-week course, the managers received interactive and practical training on a variety of topics including risk management, personnel management, interpersonal skill development, budgeting and planning for action. Many participants indicated that this course, which included many practical exercises, was very essential and beneficial for them.

Reaction of one of the participants on the evaluation form: “Topics are very comprehensive and informative […] It is a very EXCELLENT program”. Source: //

[20 Jun 2017] Our partners of the Challenge TB project in Myanmar (FHI360) presented the big progress made by the National TB Reference Laboratory of Myanmar as result of the situational analysis conducted by DATOS in January this year. This presentation was given at the Challenge TB Diagnostic Network Workshop taking place this week in The Hague, The Netherlands.

TB Laboratory Strengthening in Myanmar

DATOS visited Myanmar last year to provide training on laboratory quality management and biorisk management to TB laboratory specialists. The next step was conducting a thorough situational analysis of the TB laboratory system of Myanmar, including assessment of the two main TB laboratories: the National TB Reference Laboratory in Yangon and the Upper-Myanmar TB Centre in Mandalay. This was done by DATOS in January this year. The outcomes of this situational analysis paved the way to further improvement of the TB laboratories and TB laboratory network of Myanmar.

Collateral impact: Strengthening of the National Public Health Laboratory

The activities of DATOS in Myanmar also raised the interest of the National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL) of Myanmar to accept the challenge to strengthen the quality of their services. A separate training on laboratory quality management was provided by DATOS in May to NPHL laboratory staff. Source: //

[5 Mar 2018] In February Tjeerd Datema visited the National Tuberculosis Reference Laboratory and the Central Mandalay Branch Tuberculosis Laboratory in Myanmar. Both laboratories are implementing a quality management system using the GLI tool, after having been trained by DATOS on quality management in 2016, and an extensive situational analysis conducted by DATOS in 2017. This project is funded by USAID ChallengeTB. The laboratories are assisted on a daily basis by the ChallengeTB implementing partner in Myanmar, FHI360. The consultants of FHI360 are in turn assisted in mentoring the laboratories on quality management system implementation by DATOS.

Big achievements were made: the majority of action points resulting from the situational analysis conducted in 2017 have been completed. During the current mission we focused on:

  • Training laboratory staff on identification of SOPs that need to be written for the primary laboratory process
  • Setting up a document control system
  • Developing a quality policy
  • Making an organogram of the laboratory

In addition, we assisted the FHI360 team by designing a mentor approach for the coming four months. In June DATOS will go back to Myanmar to proceed with the next steps. Source: //

[27 Jul 2018] In Myanmar we’ve been providing continued assistance to the National TB Reference Laboratory and the Central Mandalay Branch TB Laboratory. We assist these laboratories with implementation of a quality management system based on ISO 15189. This activity is part of the Challenge TB project funded by USAID. Source: //

[19 Jan 2019] This month DATOS provides continued mentoring support to the National TB Reference Laboratory and the NTP Central Mandalay Branch Laboratory in Myanmar. This is part of the Challenge TB project funded by USAID. Both laboratories are implementing a quality management system based on ISO 15189.

Multiple year mentoring project

In 2016 DATOS provided training on laboratory biorisk management and laboratory quality management, followed by a thorough situational analysis at both laboratories. Since February 2017 the laboratories have been implementing a laboratory quality management system (LQMS) using the LQSI tool ( with mentoring support of FHI360 and DATOS. Over the past two years the laboratories have made significant progress with the LQMS implementation.

Continuous improvement

During this visit DATOS focused on mentoring on document control and quality indicators. The laboratories have now implemented a complete document control system and have identified and started monitoring quaity indicators, which will enable the laboratories to identify opportunities to continuously improve their performance. Source: //


Title: Fleming Fund inception phase

Code: D17-06

Date: January - May 2017

Location: Nepal & Myanmar

Client: Fleming Fund through Mott MacDonald

Type of services:

  • Providing input to proposal development for the Fleming Fund
  • Coordination of laboratory and surveillance strengthening activities under the Fleming Fund
  • Laboratory and surveillance system assessments for scoping missions for early investment countries of the Fleming Fund in Myanmar and Nepal


[5 Mar 2017] Linda Oskam is currently in Myanmar and Nepal on a scoping mission for the Fleming Fund to assess the antimicrobial resistance (AMR) situation and the surveillance capacity in these countries.

The Fleming Fund is an initiative of the UK Department of Health and aims to support around 30 countries worldwide to improve their AMR surveillance capacity up to the level that they can report to GLASS (Global Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System). One Health, sustainability, country ownership and alignment with policies and other initiatives are crucial to the program.

Mott MacDonald serves as the Fleming Fund Management Agent and Linda was hired to serve as a laboratory expert during the inception phase. Currently, Mott MacDonald teams are carrying out scoping missions to get a better understanding of the AMR surveillance situation in Myanmar, Nepal, Ghana and Uganda, to raise awareness among stakeholders, to test the approaches and tools that were developed so far and (ultimately) to get grant proposals from the countries involved.

In Myanmar we had a meeting with the Minister of Health and Sports, His Excellency Dr. Myint Htwe, who was very supportive. Source: //

Want to know more? Check  our blog for  our latest activities or contact us!

The Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, the biggest pagoda of Myanmar.

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