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JANAAC Provides Confidence to COVID-19 Testing


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November 2021
 
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Above Body

 27 Nov 2021    admin   

The Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC) was established to facilitate trade between Jamaica and its trading partners, which according to the agency’s Chief Executive Officer, Sharonmae Shirley, includes medical testing that is done to support the national COVID-19 testing regime.

A critical tool in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic is the availability of competent medical laboratories and point-of-care testing facilities that can produce fast, accurate and reliable test results. In support of other COVID-19 mitigation strategies, the increased accessibility of competent COVID-19 testing services impact several aspects of our daily lives. These range from the diagnoses and management of patient care, the safe conduct of business and social activities, as well as cross- border travel.

Currently, there is one (1) laboratory that has been ISO 15189 accredited by JANAAC for COVID- 19 testing and fifty-one (51) entities that have been pre-accredited under the JANAAC  Pre-Accreditation Approval Programme (PAAP). The table below provides a summary of the number of JANAAC-approved COVID-19 testing facilities that are available for use by members of the public and visitors to our nation’s shores.

NUMBER OF JANAAC-APPROVED (ACCREDITED & PRE-ACCREDITED) COVID-19 TESTING FACILITIES BY PARISH

Total

Kingston

St. Catherine

Clarendon

Manchester

St. Ann

St. James

Westmoreland

52

17

9

5

1

4

12

4

 

As the only internationally recognised accreditation body in the English-speaking Caribbean, JANAAC’s accreditation services are peer evaluated by international organisations to meet the quality, rigour, integrity and impartiality requirements accepted globally. In verifying and validating the competence of facilities, Shirley explained, “JANAAC conducts assessments that witness the suitability of the facilities, equipment, sampling practices, test methods, traceability and accuracy of results. Test reports, patient handling, among other technical activities are also evaluated.”

JANAAC offers accreditation services to Jamaica and nine (9) regional client territories, namely Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Suriname, St. Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago. Among its accredited clients are major medical testing labs that operate in Bahamas, Barbados, Guyana, and Trinidad and Tobago.

JANAAC encourages accredited medical and testing laboratories to expand their scope of accreditation to include COVID-19 testing of clinical or non-clinical samples, and invites unaccredited laboratories and Point of Care Testing facilities (POCT) to apply to its Pre-Accreditation Approval Programme (PAAP) for COVID-19 testing”, offered Shirley. “These programmes are designed to validate the competence of COVID-19 testing providers to meet established international standards, and protect the safety and wellbeing of consumers.”

Shirley urges consumers to look for the JANAAC Accreditation Symbol or the JANAAC PAAP Symbol to confirm whether the facility they visit is approved to conduct COVID-19 tests.

For more information, the public is encouraged to visit the JANAAC website (www.janaac.gov.jm) that lists all entities that have been awarded accreditation and pre-accreditation certificates to offer COVID-19 test services. Periodic updates are also made to the Agency’s social media platforms. Similarly, the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC), a sister entity within the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce (MIIC), includes the JANAAC-Approved COVID-19 Testing Facilities in its Consumer Alert Publications on Prices of COVID-19 Tests. These publications are accessible via the CAC’s website https://www.consumeraffairsjamaica.gov.jm.

 

###

For More Information, Please Contact: Mr. Daren Miller

MARKETING AND PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER

JAMAICA NATIONAL AGENCY FOR ACCREDITATION

Tel: (876) 968-7790 ext. 2005 (Office) | (876) 550-8953 (Mobile)

Email: daren.miller@janaac.gov.jm | publicrelations@janaac.gov.jm Website: www.janaac.gov.jm

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/janaac_acc/?hl=en Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JANAAC/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkzzVf-K_HE

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