Govt analyst lab gets ISO certification
Harare (New Ziana) -The Government Analyst Laboratory on Friday received the ISO 17025:2017 accreditation certificate, an international standard that sets out general requirements for competent, impartial and consistent operation of such facilities.
The certificate specifies the activities that should be included in the laboratory operations to promote confidence in its ability to provide valid and consistently reliable calibration and sampling results.
In a speech read on his behalf at the certificate presentation ceremony in the capital, Ministry of Health and Child Care permanent secretary Dr Jasper Chimedza, said the ISO 17025:2017 is a quality management system for analytical and testing laboratories since 2019.
Chief director responsible for human resources, Dr Simon Nyadundu read the speech on behalf of Dr Chimedza.
The mandate of the Government Analyst Laboratory is to analyse samples of food and water and other samples submitted to it as well as fighting outbreaks such as cholera, which the country is currently grappling with.
Dr Chimedza decried the poor state of equipment which he said is now obsolete leading to its constant breakdown, resulting in a backlog of 1 500 cases requiring toxicology analysis.
“However, despite all this, the lab has not lost its focus of providing the customer-oriented services, so it has worked tirelessly to build a strong relationship of trust with its customers.
“In this spirit of commitment to quality of analytical services to the public, the department applied and received the ISO certification and accreditation after a successful assessment by the Southern African development Community Accreditation Services (SADCA),” he said, adding the government analyst laboratory is now producing results of international standards.
Speaking at the same event, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) representative in Zimbabwe and Sub-regional coordinator for Southern Africa, Dr Patrice Talla said his organisation is always ready to support all government efforts towards ensuring food safety for all the people, all the time.
Dr Talla said FAO sponsored the accreditation process as part of its global mandate of supporting member countries to ensure food safety as a key tenet for improving food security and nutrition.
He noted that food-borne illnesses exacerbate nutrient deficiencies and food-borne parasitic infections have huge social and economic cost, particularly in developing countries like Zimbabwe.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) 600 million people fall ill and 420 000 die globally every year after eating contaminated food, and surely, alarming figures that cannot be ignored.