Malawi is yet to be accredited within the health sector, a development that undermines the importance of medical laboratory systems as an integral part of the health delivery system, according to Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS).
MBS deputy director Willy Muliya said this on Monday in Blantyre during the opening of trainers of trainers workshop for laboratory practitioners and Word Accreditation Day commemoration.
He said out of 51 facilities accredited by Southern African Development Community Accreditation Service (Sadcas), 27 percent (14) are medical laboratories from Botswana (6), Swaziland (1), Tanzania (5) and Zimbabwe (2) while Botswana (5), Namibia (9) and Zimbabwe (1) were accredited by Southern Africa National Accreditation System.
“A number of countries in the region have recognised the importance of medical laboratory systems as an integral part of the health delivery systems and have in their policies embraced accreditation as a strategy for the competence of medical laboratories,” said Muliya, who is also chairperson of Laboratories Association of Malawi.
He said many laboratories in Malawi are yet to be accredited, affecting policy delivery across a wide range of government and regulatory activities.
In her remarks, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism assistant director of industry Magret Sauzande said implementation of international standards is key to preparing Malawian laboratories for accreditation; hence, rendering the services in the facilities credible.
World Accreditation Day is commemorated on June 9, but in Malawi, the commemoration was held on August 15 2016.