There is renewed hope that residents of Turkana will soon start enjoying better laboratory services after the devolved unit formally started the process of rolling out the first ever Turkana County Laboratory Quality Policy Manual.
Speaking in Lodwar town Saturday, upon receipt of the printed version of the quality policy document from Ampathplus, the county executive for health Jane Ajele noted that the manual will offer standards against which quality assurance and continuous improvement will be pegged on moving forward.
“Turkana County’s approach is to mainstream and strengthen laboratory system at all levels which will provide progressive, responsive, sustainable quality health care system for accelerated attainment of the highest standard of health to not only Turkana residents but also other Kenyans,” she said.
On his part, the county chief officer of health Dr. Roberts Abok said the manual was part of the wider program by the health department to strengthen the already ISO certified laboratory services in Turkana.
Dr. Abok also said that the manual will enhance safety of health care workers serving in the medical laboratories and at the same time provide a mechanism for tracking and correcting of mistakes where applicable for better diagnostic outcomes.
Coming at a time when the nation is grappling with an industrial action in which medical laboratory staff have downed their tools in demand for safer and better working conditions, Dr. Abok observed that the manual is a show of commitment on their part in respect to improving working conditions in the area.
Speaking during the event, head of Ampathplus in Turkana County Chris Eweillar said that his organization had invested up to Sh150,000 in printing the document so as to increase its availability to the target users in a portable booklet version.
Eweillar reiterated the Ampath’s commitment to strengthening laboratory services in Turkana through plans to equip the county with advanced diagnostic equipment for investigating covid-19 and other diseases.
Chief Medical Laboratory Technologist Lowoko Benjamin said the document will primarily aim at achieving customer satisfaction by meeting patient requirements through the application of the system, continuous improvement and prevention of the occurrence of nonconformities.
On the same note, the document is based on the internationally accepted standards and focuses on good quality principles and best practices regarding laboratory services.
“The adoption of this quality policy manual is a great step towards the improvement of patient healthcare in Turkana County,” he said.
By Peter Gitonga