The fight against Covid-19 has received a major boost after the government approved Machakos County Referral Hospital laboratory to test for the respiratory disease.
Kenya Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists Board (KMLTTB), the government agency charged with regulating medical laboratories and technicians, said that the Machakos laboratory had met the requirements for undertaking Covid-19 testing in Kajiado, Kitui, Machakos and Makueni counties.
The approval makes the Machakos laboratory the 13th facility to be allowed to test for coronavirus in the country.
"We are pleased to convey to you the approval of Machakos Level 5 Hospital laboratory as a SARS-COVID-2 testing site using the Nucleic Acid Amplification Test Platform for lower Eastern region of the country," KMLTTB registrar, Mr Abdulatiff Ali, said on Wednesday in a letter addressed to Dr Ancent Kituku, the county Health executive.
"This is in line with the laboratory's compliance with the established standards and enabling regulatory laws for the practice of medical laboratory personnel working in high containment environment".
Welcoming the development, Governor Alfred Mutua said the approval validates the county's preparedness in combating coronavirus.
"We are grateful that our preparedness has borne fruits because the Medical Laboratory Board has designated Machakos Level 5 Hospital’s lab as a Covid-19 testing site for the lower Eastern region. We will undertake this duty diligently," he said in a statement.
The approval comes at time when the country is stepping up surveillance for the highly contagious disease.