VWS for AFB-Smear Microscopy
The Ventilated Workstation (VWS) was developed by the Global Laboratory Initiative working group of the Stop TB Partnership, WHO, the Union, FIND, CDC, GERMFREE and other partner organizations. The Ventilated Workstation is designed for AFB-smear microscopy in developing regions.
More about the Ventilated Workstation (VWS) Project
According to the Report ‘GLI Update: Ventilated Workstation’ by Pawan Angra, MS, PhD, 7th National Conference on Laboratory Aspects of Tuberculosis, June 14, 2011, APHL TB Conference 2011: “Properly performed sputum smear examination is still the best technique to diagnose the infectious cases” and is the cheapest method, “Sputum smear preparation is a messy process.”
Standard protocol would generally require that these procedures be performed in a Biological Safety Cabinet (BSC). However in many locations where AFB-smear microscopy is performed, there are impediments to having a Biosafety Cabinet. This is particularly true in certain developing and remote regions. These issues include: Cost of the BSC, requirements for periodic certification and maintenance of the HEPA filters.
An experts meeting was held at the CDC on September 15-16, 2009, to determine the specifications and requirements for a Ventilated Workstation (VWS) that could solve these challenges. The meeting was attended by: CDC, WHO, FIND, APHL, Health Canada, CU2HA, NHLS South Africa, NSF and GERMFREE.
According to the report, the goal was to “Design a simple workstation cabinet to perform smear microscopy, minimal maintenance, no HEPA filter, and develop a guidance document with performance specifications to fabricate ‘Fan Box’ under local conditions.”
Germfree’s Ventilated Workstation (VWS) is the result of this comprehensive public and private cooperation in solving an important global health concern.
GLI Activities – Ventilated Work Station”, Pawan Angra, MS, PhD, APHL TB Conference 2011