MRC Unit The Gambia’s Routine Diagnostic Laboratories Attains ISO 15189:2012

A key event for the Laboratory Services Department was the attainment of ISO 15189:2012 accreditation for the Routine Diagnostic Laboratories comprising the Clinical, Serology and Tuberculosis (TB) Diagnostics Laboratories. ISO 15189 is the pre-eminent standard that specifies requirements for quality and competence of Medical Laboratories. Initial accreditation was awarded in July 2015 by the Kenya Accreditation Service (KENAS), which has been sustained through a surveillance visit in January 2016.

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Bola Lawal (Clinical Laboratories Manager), Tisbeh Faye-Joof (Serology Lab Manager) Dr Ousman Secka (TB diagnostics laboratories) and Dr Davis Nwakanma (Head of Laboratory Management)

Accreditation is proof that our facility, personnel and processes are able to consistently produce quality, reliable and timely test results, which is crucial to patient care, clinical trials and scientific research. International recognition of the quality of our laboratory work enhances MRCG’s reputation for excellence in scientific research and should impact positively on our success rate in attracting research funding and prestigious collaborations.

Staff members of the Clinical, Serology, TB Diagnostics Laboratories and the Quality Department played a pivotal role in driving the process. The support services involved were Biomedical Engineering, Procurement, Logistics, Facilities, Data Management and IT Departments.

The current accreditation will need to be maintained through periodic scheduled re-evaluations. There will be more tests, especially in molecular diagnostics and research, included in the future accreditation scope.

This accomplishment would not have been possible without the exceptional teamwork shown by MRC Unit the Gambia staff involved in the accreditation process and the strong support by the MRCG Leadership.