Kitgum General hospital laboratory gets international accreditation

Kitgum General hospital

Kitgum General Hospital Laboratory has been accredited by the South African National Accreditation System (SANAS).

The accreditation provides a means of evaluating the competence of laboratories to perform specific types of testing, measurement and calibration and that the facility has a documented Management System in place to ensure consistent implementation of its processes.

It is purposed to ensure that quality laboratory results are given to patients.

Bezzy Omoya, the Senior Administrator at Kitgum General Hospital, told Uganda Radio Network that although the accreditation usually takes not more than 14-months, it took them seven years because of limited resources and old structures that have not been renovated for years.

The step now makes the laboratory the first government medical facility in the Acholi Sub-region, to produce laboratory test results that will be internationally recognized.

The other government facilities with SANAS accreditation include Entebbe Hospital, Kabale Hospital, Jinja Hospital, Kabale Hospital, Morotuo Hospital, Mulago Hospital, Mityana Hospital, Hoima Hospital, Koboko Hospital, Kagadi Hospital, Mbale Hospital and Sembabule Health Centre IV, among others.

In 2015, Kitgum General Hospital laboratory was enrolled onto the Strengthening Laboratory Management Towards Accreditation, SLMTA/ Stepwise Laboratory Quality Improvement Process Towards Accreditation, SLIPTA, by the Uganda National Health Laboratory Services, UNHLS.

Omoya, says that at the time of starting the accreditation process, the hospital had a baseline WHO AFRO SLIPTA of no star. He adds that the laboratory improved in performance from the star I in 2016, star II in 2017, star III in 2018. And in 2020, through an audit conducted by the African Society for Laboratory Medicine, the laboratory was awarded a certificate of a WHO-SLIPTA star rating of IV.

Omoya adds that in 2019, the Ministry of Health identified the hospital laboratory with nine others in the country to be fast-tracked for international accreditation under SANAS.

“The ministry of health through partners started supporting the hospital mentorships and training to empower staff with in-depth knowledge for preparation to international accreditation,” he said.

He added that the laboratory, through the Ministry of Health, has been undergoing mentorships by new implementing partners who spearhead accreditation of laboratories in Uganda.

Omoya explained that the accreditation shows that the hospital laboratory has technical competence as well as a quality management system.

He advised the hospital staff to work hard towards keeping the accreditation status which he says can be revoked after some months or years, if the hospital does not work hard.

He cited that the accreditation body is strict on details of every patient, such as; age, village and next of kin, which is most times ignored by doctors.

Such negligence, he said are among the factors that can make an accredited laboratory lose marks.

Omoya said that although accreditation is good and acts as a marketing and public relations tool for the hospital, their biggest fear is about sustaining it, as it was made possible with huge support from partners.

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