KENYA – The Association of Kenya Medical Laboratory Scientific Officers (AKMLSO) has urged the government to undertake mass Covid-19 testing to give a clear picture of the disease positivity rate in the country.
The Laboratory Scientists advised that the mass testing should be carried out for at least three months and the data interrogated to come up with the right positivity rate while urging the government at national and county levels to ensure that all laboratories were well equipped.
The mass Covid-19 testing will help laboratory scientists determine the prevalence rate of COVID-19 since a lot of disease management research focuses on including collection of enough statistics from the study population.
In addition, the Association of Kenya Medical Laboratory Scientific Officers has advised the government to promptly roll out mass testing for proper mechanisms to be put in place to contain Covid-19 as the disease still poses a challenge to health systems across the world.
The call for action was announced during the 27th annual AKMLSO scientific conference in Kisumu where laboratory technicians from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ethiopia were in attendance to assess the region’s Covid-19 situation.
AKMLSO National Executive Chairman Safari Kithi disclosed that the government had received a lot of reagents and testing kits from the donor community during the pandemic period which were rotting in stores as the country grapples with another wave of the disease.
Chairman Kithi advised the Ministry of Health to stop downplaying the presence of the disease in the country while calling for the need to take decisive steps to ensure that Kenyans are protected.
He explained that the Kenyan Government has not declared that the country is Covid-19 free since the virus is still looming amongst the people hence the dire need for a lot of testing and surveillance as key to win the war against the disease.
Kithi further noted that proper diagnosis was essential in the management of Covid-19 in Kenya and the Universal Health Coverage programme, adding that laboratory officers played a critical role in disease case management since accurate data for Covid-19 and other ailments was critical.
Moses Lorre, the conference organizing committee Chairman said that 41 exhibitors drawn from the East African Community (EAC) showcased various equipment and technology which governments have been urged to enlist.
“We are now witnessing monkey pox which is another threat. We must embrace these technologies to get accurate data for proper decision making,” added Lorre.
Moreover, the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced that country-based research finds that scale-up speed with a focus on at-risk populations and the choice of COVID-19 vaccine brands are critical to structuring successful vaccination programs.