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Kenya improves diagnostic systems as National Public Health Laboratory gains ISO certification

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Kenya improves diagnostic systems as National Public Health Laboratory gains ISO certification

Health CS says essential role of NPHL was evident during covid-19 pandemic, with lab coordinating all aspects of COVID-19 testing across the country

NAIROBI, Kenya, October 14, 2021 / APO Group / –

The National Public Health Laboratory is called upon to play an essential role in the generation of essential data to guide the development of public health policies following its ISO accreditation.

Speaking at the celebrations for achieving ISO accreditation status and other milestones that elevate the National Public Health Reference Laboratory to international standards, Cabinet Secretary of Health Mutahi Kagwe said the The facility had great potential to contribute to biomedical research and clinical trial studies.

“It is on this basis that I asked the head of the laboratory services department through the office of the director general of health to identify critical areas of research that the NPHL can collaborate with other institutes of research such as KEMRI, ILRI and various local and international. Universities need to provide bench space and diagnostic capacity that can be used by different collaborators, ”said the Health CS.

According to Kagwe, correct disease diagnosis remains a major challenge in providing appropriate care to patients around the world, adding that diagnostic data is essential for patient management and disease prevention.

Health CS says NPHL’s critical role was evident during the covid-19 pandemic, with the lab coordinating all aspects of COVID-19 testing across the country in addition to playing a leading role in the fight against the disease through the provision of quality assurance panels and coordination of product allocation and distribution to various COVID-19 testing laboratories in Kenya.

“This support has enabled Kenya to rapidly increase testing sites from an initial site in March 2020 to 95 sites currently testing for COVID-19 using PCR methods, and a further 461 sites testing for COVID-19 in using Rapid Antigen kits, ”observed the CS.

Speaking at the same event, Senior Secretary of Health Susan Mochache commended the NPHL team for their efforts to ensure that the National Public Health Laboratory achieves ISO accredited certification.

Five of the 8 National Reference Laboratories of the National Public Health Lab are now fully ISO accredited. They understand; National reference laboratory on HIV, national reference laboratory in microbiology, national reference laboratory on tuberculosis, national reference laboratory on food safety and national reference laboratory on malaria.

The National Public Health Laboratory also holds and analyzes the largest volumes of samples for HIV viral load, HIV drug resistance testing, tuberculosis culture and drug profiling, malaria screening, cancer marker, microbial drug resistance profiling, among others.

The National Public Health Laboratory was the first facility to test and confirm a case of COVID-19 in Kenya. Since then, he has coordinated all aspects of COVID-19 testing nationwide and analyzed more than 2.3 million samples for COVID-19.

The NPHL, which reports to the Ministry of Health, plays a vital role in healthcare by providing baseline tests for key diseases and in responding to epidemics in the country and region.

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