Govt. launches a national centre of excellence for public health laboratory services and influenza centre

NAIROBI, Kenya, 6 April 2017 –  The government has launched a five year strategic plan for the National Public Health Laboratory Services (NPHLS) and a Centre of Excellence (CoE) for equipment management and accreditation of national microbiology.
The CoE which was established in collaboration with PEPFAR partners and CDC Kenya will offer free calibration services to the public laboratories and serve as a center of excellence in equipment maintenance as well as a learning centre for biomedical engineers.
Thirty biomedical engineers and 12 trainer of trainers have already undergone training at the centre to assist in the strengthening of equipment preventive maintenance programs and improving the quality of laboratory services, the Director of Medical Services, Dr. Jackson Kioko disclosed during the launch of the NPHLS strategic plan, policy and guideline documents and centre of excellence on Thursday.
He said the national public laboratory is essential for achievement of the Ministry of Health policy objectives particularly the elimination of communicable diseases, provision of essential healthcare and decreasing the burden of non-communicable.
“The National Public Health Laboratory is key in protecting the health of Kenyans against emerging and re-emerging health threats as mandated in the new constitution dispensation,” the DMS who was represented by Dr. Pacifica Onyancha said.
National Public Health Laboratory Services perform specialized testing for priority infectious and non-communicable diseases, laboratory-based disease surveillance, provision of quality assurance for the public health laboratories and referral services linking national, international and county laboratories.
The Lab is responsible for surveillance, detection, response and control of disease threats and outbreaks; as well as effective planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of public health programs.
The DMS also opened the National influenza Centre (NIC) which is a public health laboratory facility established by the Ministry of Health with the mandate to conduct Influenza surveillance.
The centre will offer services to the private, national referral & county public health institutions, public institutions, and also serve as a resource for training on influenza surveillance in Kenya and beyond, by providing data information summaries that are crucial in the assessment of influenza public health trends and epidemic dynamics on a national scale.