There are a total of 31 laboratory technicians working currently at SMRU They are all local people who have been trained by SMRU at various times since it’s inception in 1986.
There are 26 lab technicians working in 3 clinics spread along the Thai-Myanmar border (from 25 km north of Mae Sot to 60 km to the south) and 1 clinic in Maela refugee camp (60 km north of Mae Sot). Their main activity is malaria diagnosis by microscopy (Giemsa stain). They are also able to perform Urine analysis, Stool examination, C.S.F examination, direct vaginal discharge examination and Gram’s stain, Haematocrit, Reticulocytes counts, Heinz body screening, G6PD deficiency rapid fluorescence test, Bilirubin measurement and Blood transfusion testing. They are also involved in a lot of blood sample processing including centrifugation and storage for various clinical studies. Placental biopsies are also collected as part of studies on maternal and child health.
4 senior lab technicians are working in SMRU central lab in Mae Sot. Their main roles are to train and supervise lab technicians in the clinics, manage the staff, perform internal quality control, perform external quality control for various NGOs working in the region, perform second blind readings and third readings for clinical trials, reading malaria smears from malaria surveys, perform quality control on malaria rapid diagnostic tests (R.D.T) used in the field, manage supplies stocks and order, clean and maintain regularly microscopes and other equipment and data entering.
1 lab technician is in charge of training and supervising staff (home visitors) performing malaria R.D.T and preparing malaria blood smears in the clinics. He is now involved with the METF (Malaria Elimination Task Force) supervising malaria posts and exhaustive malaria surveys.
Apart from supporting all the clinical studies in the field, our department has been more directly involved in studies evaluating malaria rapid diagnostic tests and other new malaria diagnostic methods against microscopy and P.C.R.
Our laboratories have been certified for registered studies through trainings and external QC by pharmaceutical companies such as G.S.K and Novartis. We follow the regular external quality control organized by the Thai Public Health and all our lab technicians achieved grade 1 in malaria parasites detection and specie identification during a WHO test evaluation in 2014.
Watch SMRU's video tutorial of How to Perform a Proper Thick and Thin Smear for Malaria Diagnosis.