'The main reason we have seen a rise in cases of misdiagnosis is due to an increase in fake laboratories and unqualified personnel'
A majority of medical laboratories are not accredited, putting in doubt examination results they give.
The Kenya Accreditation Services (Kenas) on Monday said only 75 of the 2,000 laboratories in the country are certified by the agency.
The revelation came amidst increasing cases of misdiagnosis that have often been blamed for deaths and incurrence of huge bills by patients.
Kenas assistant director in charge of safety and health Dorris Mweni asked the government to intervene and ensure compliance.
Accreditation is based quality of staff, medical equipment and services.
“In Nakuru county, only two laboratories are certified and accredited by Kenas and there is need for the state to intervene to make sure all the medical facilities conform to this test,” Mweni said.
She spoke at the AIC Kijabe Hospital in Naivasha where the agency issued accreditation.
“The main reason we have seen a rise in cases of misdiagnosis is due to an increase in fake laboratories and unqualified personnel,” Mweni said.
She said a study by the World Health Organization showed that 75 percent of diseases were detected in laboratories.
“In Canada and France, it’s mandatory for all medical facilities to be accredited and there is an urgent need for the Ministry of Health to follow suit,” she said.
The director in charge of clinical services at AIC Kijabe Hospital's main branch in Lari Ivylene Wanjiru said they welcomed the accreditation of their facility.
She said the move will boost trust among staff and patients.
“We have not had cases of misdiagnosis in our facility and the accreditation process gives our patients faith in our services,” Wanjiru said.
The hospital's officer in charge Helina Kahora said it had taken them more than five years to get accredited.
“We see over 150 patients every day and the move to certify our laboratory is welcome because it gives confidence to our patients,” Kahora said.
edited by p. obuya