Abu Dhabi, October 25th, 2020: The Central Testing Laboratory of the Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council has implemented a proficiency testing program, which is the first of its kind in the region, to verify the competency of medical laboratories carrying out COVID-19 tests.


Abu Dhabi, October 25th, 2020: The Central Testing Laboratory of the Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council has implemented a proficiency testing program, which is the first of its kind in the region, to verify the competency of medical laboratories carrying out COVID-19 tests. 
The program was executed in cooperation with Biogenix lab, part of a G42 healthcare company, the first medical laboratory accredited according to the national accreditation system by Emirates National Accreditation System.  The Biogenix lab prepared three types of reference samples to be used in this proficiency testing program. The swap samples prepared were categorized as highly positive, weakly positive and negative samples. These samples were distributed to (15) medical laboratories who voluntarily participated in this program.
Eng. Abdulla Hassan Al Muaini, Executive Director of the Central Testing Laboratory at the Council, affirmed that the participating labs who were all located in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi tested the samples with their normal practices using their regular testing methods, protocols and technologies. The samples underwent a preliminary test using five different methods, including the “LamPORE” test, which is based on the LAMP [loop-mediated isothermal amplification] technique and Oxford Nanopore's rapid sequencing technology. This quick, accurate and low-cost technique can analyze thousands of samples daily using one device, and detect COVID-19 corona virus,”
“The participating labs, then, submitted the results to Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council team for analysis and assessment of results. The assessment of the submitted results showed that all the participating laboratories provided 100% accurate results for all the three samples regardless of the test method and protocol used. This shows that the participating laboratories employ competent personnel, use world-class testing equipment and adopted processes that give accurate results. The community in UAE can be rest assured that the quality of medical laboratories in Abu Dhabi and UAE are among the best world-wide” Al Muaini added.
The Executive Director of the Central Testing Laboratory made it clear that the proficiency testing programs are considered of the best methods available to verify the competency of laboratories and their ability to generate valid and reliable results. The proficiency testing programs organized by the council, not only allow the participating entities to obtain accreditation according to the national accreditation system, but also enhance transparency and confidence in the quality of different services such as healthcare services provided in the UAE and boost the community’s confidence in these services. 

Ashish Koshy, CEO of G42 Healthcare, thanked ADQCC for its trust and said, “We are very pleased to collaborate with QCC and become the first laboratory in the UAE privileged to provide the COVID-19 proficiency testing program. We are ready to step up to the challenge of conducting peer reviews and are honored to set the benchmark in accurate and reliable testing. We will work together with UAE labs to troubleshoot any deficiencies discovered and raise testing standards to ensure that a high degree of safety, accuracy and efficiency is adopted for population-scale detection and diagnosis across the UAE.”
Biogenix Labs, part of G42 Healthcare, upholds the health of the community by maintaining the highest standards of quality and efficiency. It was also the first lab to achieve ISO15189 accreditation for COVID RT PCR and COVID antibodies (IgG & IgM) from the Emirates National Accreditation System (ENAS), the federal accreditation body of the UAE, and is compliant with DOH protocols and the international standards. This assures a high degree of confidence and reliability in the test results, a critical element in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
Located in the sustainable city of Masdar, Biogenix Labs operates to Biosafety Level 3 standards and is changing the landscape and meaning of reference laboratories with the fastest turnaround time, quality testing procedures and efficient processes. Its’ state-of-the-art equipment and processes include fully automated extractors, real-time PCR, liquid handlers, immunoassay, chemistry and hematology analyzers.

For her part, Dr. Rehab Al Ameri, Director of the Emirates National Accreditation System (ENAS), said: “Taking part in the competency testing programs has been made a prerequisite for all conformity assessment bodies, including medical laboratories, in order to obtain accreditation as per the international requirements and practices”. 
“In 2009, the ENAS has issued the “Technical Requirement for Participation in Proficiency Testing” document, which is periodically reviewed in line with internationally applicable practices and in accordance with the national strategic goals set to improve the quality and efficiency of the quality infrastructure in the country. 
Under the document, it mandatory for certain entities concerned with conformity assessment activities to participate in the proficiency testing programs so as to get accredited and are requested to re-join these programs to ensure the continuity and validity of their accreditation, and accordingly, the results of technically accredited bodies are evaluated by residents and technical experts at ENAS,” Al Ameri added.
She noted that the latest competency program conducted by the QCC to ensure the accuracy of COVID-19 test results, is one of the most important programs executed during the pandemic period. It is yet another testament to the proficiency of medical laboratories operating in the country and also provides necessary data and information that support decision-makers in the legislative and supervisory authorities concerned with crisis management to implement and update their plans set to control the outbreak of the disease through reliable results.
The recently implemented testing program is the 16th to be carried out by the council since its launch in 2014. To date, more than 150 laboratories operating in the emirate and the UAE have benefited from these programs, in addition to about 250 workers in the inspection entities.


Update On7 Feb 2022
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