Govt commits to improve lab services

KILIMANJARO: THE government has said it will continue to improve all medical laboratories in the country in order to strengthen medical services as part of its ongoing efforts to improve the health sector.

The assurance was given recently by Deputy Minister for Health, Dr Godwin Mollel when addressing the 36th Medical Laboratory Scientists Association of Tanzania (MeLSAT) conference and Annual General Meeting (AGM) which was held in Moshi, Kilimanjaro region.

“The government has been and continues to equip health institutions with the best medical based services equipment in various laboratories due to the fact that the services are the cornerstone of human treatment,” he said.

Dr Mollel who represented the Minister for Health Ms Ummy Mwalimu during the occasion, said more than 700 health centres have been equipped with reliable laboratory equipment so that the services could reach more people.

He also said that as part of the improvements in the laboratory section, the government was proceeding with the processes of ensuring that all offices of the Medical Stores Department (MSD) have laboratory experts to ensure the purchase of the right equipment required for the section countrywide.

During the occasion, Dr Mollel called on health experts in all sectors to continue cooperating when performing their duties so as to ensure positive results for services they provide to patients and other members of the public in general.

The Deputy Minister further said that the government will ensure that laboratory experts are present at all health institutions, including at all health centres and finally at the dispensary level so that all citizens can get the necessary laboratory services.

For his part, MeLSAT, President, Mr Yahya Mnung’a, said laboratory experts will continue to provide quality services that are in line with the sector as part of their contribution in supporting efforts to improve health services in the country.

“We are aware of the government’s efforts meant to improve health services in the country, including in the medical laboratory area, that’s why we (Laboratory Technicians) continue to increase our strength when providing our services,” he said.

He added, “In the last five years, there have been good and encouraging improvements in the health sector, including in the laboratory area; we commend the government on those measures that have created conducive environment for us to carry out our duties.”

He urged the relevant authorities within the government to start the procedures meant to establish the Laboratory Accreditation Board in the country, which he said would provide an opportunity for many experts in the field to establish health laboratory centres, a move which he said would make the services reach more people and save many  lives.

“The costs of bringing laboratory accreditation assessors from abroad are high for local laboratory services potential investors, which leads to the absence of many places to provide these services; the presence of our own Accreditation Board will eliminate this challenge,” he added.

In addition, he commended the government for establishing the National Laboratory Directorate, which he said will make a significant contribution to improving laboratory services in the country.

“The Laboratory Directorate in collaboration with the National Health Laboratory Services will contribute to the improvement of laboratory services in the country, including that of coping with the changes related to health services which are inevitable,” he added.

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