TWIN Palms and its subsidiary the Gamma Allergy and Immunology Laboratory (GAMMA) received a Certificate of Accreditation from the Southern African Development Community Accreditation Service (SADCAS), while SAZ presented its Clinical wing the Asthma, Allergy and Immune Dysfunction Clinic with the ISO 9001:2015 accreditation certificate.
By Michael Gwarisa
The laboratory is certified to the ISO 15189 standard which is a prestigious honour only awarded to organisations which would exhibited exceptional adherence to standards in their various fields of expertise.
In a speech read on behalf of the deputy minister of health child care Dr John Mangwiro by the Director Non Communicable Diseases in the ministry, Dr Justice Mudavanhu, he applauded Twin Palms for the awards and assured government support to ensure the organisation maintains its standards.
“The ISO 15189:2015 certificate of accreditation is awarded to laboratories that have demonstrated that it fulfils the international standards for quality, competence. The Gamma Allergy and Allergy laboratory has attained these standards. High Quality Laboratory Service ensure accurate, reliable and timely laboratory results that are essential to all aspects of health.
“The mission of Health Laboratory Services is to provide high quality services, in the right place, in the right time and in respect of the needs of patients, community and health staff. Beneficiaries of quality results are the clinicians and their patients, epidemiologists who can be assured that the results upon which they base their predictions are reliable and environmental health practitioners,” said Dr Mudavanhu.
He also commended Twin Palms and the Gamma Allergy Immunology Laboratory for implementing and fulfilling the ISO 9001 which outlines the systemic approach to quality.
“The ISO 15189:2012 is the international foundation for medical laboratory accreditation. This was developed specifically for Medical laboratories and emphasizes particular requirements for quality and competence.
“Zimbabwean laboratories are supported by the Zimbabwe National Quality Assurance Program, ZINQAP Trust that has itself been accredited to provide QMS serves not only in Zimbabwe, but being the SADC Regional Centre of Excellence for QMS, across the SADC region.”
The management requirements of the standard address 14 management requirements including quality control, contracts, referral laboratories, supplier selection and review, corrective action and preventive actions, advisory services, continual improvements and management reviews.
On the other hand, the technical requirements of the ISO 15189 standard addresses, personnel authorities and responsibilities, Accommodation and environmental conditions, Laboratory equipment, Pre-examination procedures, Examination procedures, Assuring quality of examination procedures, Post-Examination procedures and Reporting of results.
Accreditation is conducted by SADCAS and Zimbabwe is the pioneer of the quality program in the SADC region. Some of the key ZINQAP actors now serve the region with pride.
SAZ Certification Director, Mr Ranganai Mutonono said the Twin Palms ISO 90001:2015 Certification will expire after a period of three years after which they will conduct another assessment to establish if the organisation would still be worthy of another certification.
“Congratulations to Twin Palms on attaining certification to ISO 90001:2015 which is a quality management system. This is truly a commendable achievement by Twin Palms and the certification of Twin Palms underlines the continued determination and commitment of management and staff to satisfy stakeholders.
“Twin Palms should be proud that it has satisfied the rigorous checks and balances which forms part of SAZ assessment process for certification. SAZ is satisfied that Twin Palms has put in all the measures required for certification and indeed this is demonstrated by your ability to also successfully make transition from the 2008 version to the 2015 version,” said Mr Mutotono.
He added that the certification of Twin Palms to ISO 90001:2015 was an internationally recognised certification.
SADCAS Chief Executive Officer, Mrs Maureen Mutasa said the GAMA Allergy and immunology lab was the 39th medical lab and 23rd facility in Zimbabwe to be accredited by SADCAS and the 5th medical lab in Zimbabwe to be accredited.
“It took the lab only five months from day of assessment to accreditation decision which is actually one of the fastest accreditation that SADCAS has made under the medical labs accreditation scheme. The certificate which was issued in October 2019 is valid for five years until October 15, 2024.
“Accreditation is specific to the test method used and also the substance or product that is tested. It is not a blanket method. Over the years and with challenges such as HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB), Malaria, Cholera, Typhoid, Ebola and Antimicrobial resistance, there has been global rapid growth in the various branches of healthcare services,” said Mrs Mutasa.
She said health research and laboratory diagnosis have gained tremendous importance in today’s practices and having organisations which advance quality health research and diagnosis was paramount in improving the treatment of people worldwide.
Meanwhile, Twin Palms Managing Director, Professor Elopy Sibanda said the GAMA allergy laboratory was a very significant part of the Twin Palms owing to its array of services and the certification and accreditation was a worthy endorsement.