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Print version ISSN 0120-4157


MENDOZA, Nohora Marcela et al. Quality evaluation of malaria diagnosis in the local laboratories network and in intermediate laboratories in a setting towards the disease elimination in Ecuador. Biomédica [online]. 2019, vol.39, suppl.2, pp.101-116. ISSN 0120-4157.


To reach the goal of malaria elimination in Ecuador for the year 2020, it is necessary to have a laboratory network with the capacity to perform microscopic diagnosis according to the WHO/PAHO quality standards and to provide the adequate treatment of cases.


To determine the level of competence for parasitological diagnosis of the microscopists from the local public network and the performance of intermediate reference laboratories.

Materials and methods:

We conducted a cross-sectional study based on the information collected in workshops carried out to appraise the competence for microscopic diagnosis of the local laboratory network (zonal health coordinating offices 1 to 8) using a slide panel to evaluate diagnosis agreement, as well as the diagnostic performance of the intermediate laboratories using an external quality assessment program. The results were compared against the reference standards of the supranational laboratory in Perú.


We evaluated the competencies of 191 microscopists in 11 workshops and 153 (80.1%) of them were approved. The medians of the indicators were the following: concordance for parasite detection, 100% (Q1- Q3: 96-100), concordance for species identification, 100% (Q1- Q3: 93-100), and concordances for stage identification, 93.0% (Q1- Q3: 86-95) and parasite counting, 77.0% (Q1- Q3: 71-82). In the external quality assessment, the three intermediate laboratories obtained 100% in parasite detection concordance and 96% for species detection concordance.


The results for the primary network and the performance indicators for the intermediate laboratories showed the high-quality standards of the training program implemented in the country.

Keywords : Malaria; quality control; diagnosis; Ecuador; microscopy; competency.

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