National lab reveals huge challenges


THE national public health laboratory’s (NPHL) pursuit to attain the world-recognised ISO 17025 accreditation is being hampered by a mountain of challenges, it is revealed.

Director of NPHL Mr Dickson Manongi lists budgetary support as one major challenge they face in trying to buy reagents, agars, consumables, equipment and instrument for the laboratory.

Budgetary support is also vital for preparations for audit inspection.

He adds the NPHL building is also old with many defects, such as white ants infestation, faulty plumbing and air-conditioning systems and inadequate space for staff.

Manongi said another challenge faced is lack of divisional support for food inspection, sampling and testing by units within the Environmental Health Division to bring samples for lab scientific analysis.

This he says has resulted in most food products, local and imported, not being tested for human consumption safety.

Manongi stresses that this is a huge problem for the country.

He exemplifies the local bottled water industry, which needs to undergo stringent lab testing since many companies have their water sources at the Ranadi industrial area.

Manongi also calls on the Environment Health Divisions under the ministry of health (MHMS) and HCC to be proactive on the matter.

He said they are the leading organisations and they should protect lives by having the products tested at the NPHL.

Meanwhile, Manongi says manpower is another of their problems, being in need of more workers to meet demands.

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