Patients at ease as seven Rwenzori labs accredited

Lab technologists at Kagando hospital in Kasese District on August 8, 2022. PHOTO/ALEX ASHABA

What you need to know:

  • The accreditation will also save the region from costly referrals to health facilities hundreds of kilometers beyond the Rwenzori borders.

At least seven hospital laboratories from Uganda’s Rwenzori region have been internationally accredited by the South African National Accreditation System (SANAS).

A July 2022 assessment by SANAS indicates that the laboratories that met standards include the one at Kagando Hospital in Kasese, Bundibugyo, Rukunyu, Kyenjojo, Kyegegwa and Kilembe. Additionally, the Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital lab was also accredited.

Accredited tests from the seven facilities are EID PCR test, TB gene pert, HIV, syphilis, CD4 count test, Serum CRAG test, Hepatitis B, TB ZN test.

"When you're getting services from a facility that is internationally accredited you are sure that the services are on standard like those of other facilities in the UK and USA," said Ministry of Health laboratory quality assurance programs coordinator Dr Patrick Ogwok.

According to the health ministry, Uganda now has 47 accredited laboratories.

"This time round diagnosis is accurate and no more wastage of resources,” Dr Ogwok observed.

The ministry of health with another partner of Baylor Uganda with funding from CDC/PEPFAR built laboratory infrastructures and procured some lab equipment during the accreditation.

The facilities have since been equipped with a TB Genexpert machine, FAC presto machine for CD4 count, Humalyte plus, Humastar 200, Biosafety cabinet and the M Pima among others.  

“The new machines can give results between 10 to 15 minutes to help patients get services easily unlike in the past where lab results would take over 3 hours,” Kagando Hospital lab technologist Bedana Nuwagaba said.

The accreditation will also save the region from costly referrals to health facilities hundreds of kilometers beyond the Rwenzori borders, including Kampala. 

"The labs are now a hub for other neighboring districts of Kitagwenda and Ibanda who will refer their patient samples to the facilities," a local leader noted on Wednesday. 

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