Chief Executive Officer of Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC), Sharonmae Shirley.
As the Government continues to strengthen the nation’s coronavirus (COVID-19) testing capabilities, Chief Executive Officer of the Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC), Sharonmae Shirley, is assuring that only test kits approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ministry of Health and Wellness are being used in accredited medical testing facilities.
“Currently in Jamaica, the MOHW has only permitted the use of the WHO-approved COVID-19 test kits. When we do our assessment under our pre-accreditation approval programme for COVID-19 testing, we inspect how the entity uses these kits to perform tests for the virus in a patient as well as the competency of the person conducting the test,” Mrs. Shirley told JIS News.
She pointed out that JANAAC is responsible for accrediting the process of medical testing and not the approval of the medical testing kits. This responsibility lies with the MOHW.
“It is important that medical labs accredit their testing procedure and processes because you can have the best test kits in the world and the practitioner uses it incorrectly, therefore compromising the integrity of the test and the result,” she said.
Mrs. Shirley noted that upon assessment for certification under the JANAAC pre-accreditation approval programme, the support services and requisite processes to safeguard cross-contamination are also scrutinised.
“JANAAC’s robust assessment and monitoring of the labs and point-of-care testing facilities will contribute to the consistent quality of test results used to determine patient care and to strengthen the national COVID-19 prevention and containment strategies. Therefore, we are urging more facilities to participate in the programme and become certified to perform COVID-19 testing,” she told JIS News.
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