Kenya enhances its diagnostic systems as National Public Health Laboratory acquire ISO certification
15-10-2021 09:06:46 | by: Pie Kamau | hits: 702 | Tags:

Kenya's National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL) is set to play a critical role in the generation of critical data to guide in the development of public health policies following its ISO accreditation.

Mutahi Kagwe, Health Cabinet Secretary, Kenya: ''It is on this basis that I have directed Head of the Department of Laboratory Services through the Office of the Director-General for Health to identify critical research areas that NPHL can collaborate with other research institutes such as KEMRI, ILRI and various local and international Universities to provide bench space and diagnostics capacity that can be used by different collaborators.''

According to Kagwe, proper diagnosis of diseases remains a key challenge in the provision of proper care to patients across the globe adding that diagnostic data is critical for patient management and for the prevention of diseases.

He further said that the critical role of NPHL has been evident during the covid-19 pandemic with the lab coordinating all aspects of COVID-19 testing across the country besides playing a leading role in the fight against the disease through provision of quality assurance panels and coordination of allocation and distribution of commodities to various COVID-19 testing laboratories in Kenya.

Five of the 8 national reference labs at National Public Health Lab are now fully ISO accredited. They include; National HIV reference lab, National Microbiology Reference Lab, National TB Reference Lab, National Food Safety Reference Lab and the National Malaria Reference Lab.

The NPHL also holds and analyses the highest volumes of samples for HIV viral load, HIV drug resistance testing, TB culture and drug profiling, malaria screening, cancer marker, microbial drug resistance profiling among others. The NPHL was also the first facility to test and confirm a COVID-19 case in Kenya. Since then, it has coordinated all aspects of COVID-19 testing nationally and analysed more than 2.3 million samples for COVID-19.

The NPHL which operates under the Ministry of Health, plays a critical role in healthcare through the provision of reference testing for key diseases and in the response to disease outbreaks in the Country and the region.