Gov’t calls for calibration of medical equipment to improve quality of healthcare

Gov’t calls for calibration of medical equipment to improve quality of healthcare

Manufacturers, hospitals and clinical laboratories have been urged to regularly calibrate medical equipment to reduce device related errors in a bid to enhance patient care and safety in the country.

Lt Col (Rtd.) Bernard Njiraini, KEBS Managing Director, called upon stakeholders in the healthcare sector to collaborate with the standards body in ensuring that medical devices are regularly calibrated (measured for accuracy) to avoid erroneous measurements that can compromise a patient’s wellbeing.

“Medical devices are key in diagnosis and treatment of disease. However, due to constant use, these equipment are prone to drifting and damage which impacts their performance. If a patient’s physiological, biochemical, physical, and other parameters cannot be accurately measured, the resulting decision on treatment therapy based on false test results can severely jeopardise preservation of life,” said Njiraini.

He was speaking during World Metrology Day Celebrations organised under the theme Measurement for Health.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), four (4) in ten (10) patients are harmed in primary and outpatient health care with most errors relating to diagnosis, prescription, and the use of medicines. It is also estimated that up to 80% of this harm is preventable.

Marked annually on 20th May, this year’s World Metrology Day celebrations aim to raise awareness on the significance of measurement in healthcare against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Globally metrology has been lauded for its contribution in calibration of devices used in the testing of samples for presence of the coronavirus, development of personal protective equipment (PPEs), medical devices such as ventilators and freezers used in storing vaccines to ensure efficacy.

It has also been key in development of the COVID-19 vaccine through accurate identification and measurement of RNA (Ribonucleic acid) molecules.

Locally, metrology has contributed in the development of over 16 technical standards to bolster local manufacturing of quality PPEs such as masks and medical devices such as ventilators in the fight against COVID-19.

Also speaking during the celebrations, Industrialisation CS Maina reiterated the crucial role the health sector plays in sustaining economic growth and development, job creation and poverty alleviation.

She also expressed optimism in the application measurement for effective and efficient delivery of healthcare in the country and support for quick recovery from the pandemic.

“All instruments and equipment used in our health institutions must be accurately calibrated to ensure the highest degree of quality control and patient protection,” she said.

Globally, World Metrology Day is jointly celebrated by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) and the International Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML).

Locally, KEBS is mandated to provide Scientific and Industrial Metrology while the Weights and Measures department offers the Legal Metrology.

The two institutions work closely to ensure the benefits of metrology are realized by industry and all users of metrology services.