External Quality Assessment Scheme for Transfusion Transmissible Infections among Blood Service Facilities in the Philippines, 2016

Kenneth Aristotle Punzalan, Rhoda Yu, Iza Mae Chamen


The External Quality Assessment Scheme for Transfusion Transmissible Infections in the Philippines aims to raise the standards of quality testing for infectious diseases in blood units.

The National Blood Program lists more than 200 Blood Service Facilities (BSF) in the country in which 162 participated in the 2016 EQAS test event. These participants were given an EQAS panel composed the HVHT4320 serology program and MLRA415 malaria program. The panels should be treated by the participants as routine donor samples to simulate the actual laboratory process which allows the NRL and the participant to check and validate the entire blood unit screening process.

The results were submitted via an online informatics system and were analyzed by One World Accuracy Canada using the ISO 13528:2008 Robust Statistics method (Huber’s Method) to identify outliers. Qualitative results were evaluated and compared with the reference results of the NRL to which non-concordance would mark their results aberrant. The results of the test event showed a number of participants having aberrant results due to either random or systematic errors.

Data gathered from this EQAS test event are used to improve the processes of the blood service facility to ensure quality testing.


quality assurance, blood donor serology, transfusion transmissible infections, proficiency testing

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Department of Health. DOH Department Memorandum No. 2009-0086B: Amendment to Department Memorandum No. 2009-0086-A entitled, “Implementation of external quality assessment program as regulatory requirement for licensing of clinical laboratories.” 8 September 2014. Retrieved from http://ttinrl. com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/DM-2009-0086-B.pdf.

World Health Organization. WHO manual for organizing a national external quality assessment programme for health laboratories and other testing sites. Geneva, Switzerland, 2016. Available from: http://www.who.int/hiv/pub/toolkits/manual-external-quality-assessment-testing/en/.


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