African experience with sperm morphology training courses

Franken D.R. (2003)


This paper reports on the results of a 6-year ongoing training and quality control programme for sperm morphology. The programme consists of a 5-day semenology workshop, during which participants receive intensive training on issues such as sperm concentration, motility, vitality and morphology. Following the workshop, all the participants are enrolled in a continuous quality control (CQC) programme for sperm morphology. These workshops and quality control programmes are presented by the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Tygerberg Hospital (South Africa) in conjunction with the World Health Organization's (WHO) Special Programme for Research Development and Research Training. Seventy individuals from 11 countries in sub-Saharan Africa have been trained since 1997; 58 of these are still participating in the quality control programme. Using the results from the quality control programme, participants were classified according to their sperm morphology reading skills recorded over an extended period. It is concluded that an external quality control programme can be highly successful, on condition that it is presented continuously with a 3-4 month interval between tests.

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