With this, the number of labs receiving ISO certification in the country has reached five.
The coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across Nepal even after implementing stringent measures such as nationwide lockdown, the shutdown of businesses and the closure of international borders.
The sudden spike in coronavirus cases has raised speculations about the inability of the public healthcare system in the country to combat COVID-19.
Amid the growing speculations, the Teku-based National Public Health Laboratory has received ISO 15189:2012 certification, international recognition for operational excellence.
The ISO standards have accredited the lab with 5-decades of history by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) on June 9, 2020.
ISO’s representative to Nepal Dr. Sitaram Joshi handed over the ISO certificate to the lab director Dr. Runa Jha.
Receiving the certificate, Dr. Jha credited the certification to the tremendous efforts of the staffers to make the lab on par with the international standard for five years.
“Our certification has further added to our credibility,” said Dr. Jha, informing that more than 100 evidences were submitted to the ISO for accreditation.
With this, the Teku-based lab became the first state-run lab to receive the ISO certification and the fifth laboratory in the country to reach the feat. The private sector ran all the remaining four ISO certified labs.
“It is a matter of happiness that the state-run lab has been honored with the ISO certification at a time when the country was fighting COVID-19 pandemic,” expressed Health Minister Bhanubhakta Dhakal.
Earlier, the Teku-based lab could conduct around 100 COVID-19 tests daily. However, lately, the government has enhanced the lab facility to test about 1000 nasal and throat swabs.
Meanwhile, the Nepali Government has decided to shift the lab to a new building to run it in a more organized manner.