The status of medical laboratory towards of AFRO-WHO accreditation process in government and private health facilities in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Introduction: The World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa (WHO AFRO) introduces a step wise incremental accreditation approach to improving quality of laboratory and it is a new initiative in Ethiopia and activities are performed for implementation of accreditation program.
Methods: Descriptive cross sectional study was conducted in 30 laboratory facilities including 6 laboratory sections to determine their status towards of accreditation using WHO AFRO accreditation checklist and 213 laboratory professionals were interviewed to assess their knowledge on quality system essentials and accreditation in Addis Ababa Ethiopia.
Results: Out of 30 laboratory facilities 1 private laboratory scored 156 (62%) points, which is the minimum required point for WHO accreditation and the least score was 32 (12.8%) points from government laboratory. The assessment finding from each section indicate that 2 Clinical chemistry (55.2% & 62.8%), 2 Hematology (55.2% & 62.8%), 2 Serology (55.2% & 62.8%), 2 Microbiology (55.2 % & 62.4%), 1 Parasitology (62.8%) & 1 Urinalysis (61.6%) sections scored the minimum required point for WHO accreditation. The average score for government laboratories was 78.2 (31.2%) points, of these 6 laboratories were under accreditation process with 106.2 (42.5%) average score, while the private laboratories had 71.2 (28.5%) average score. Of 213 respondents 197 (92.5%) professionals had a knowledge on quality system essentials whereas 155 (72.8%) respondents on accreditation.
Conclusion: Although majority of the laboratory professionals had knowledge on quality system and accreditation, laboratories professionals were not able to practice the quality system properly and most of the laboratories had poor status towards the WHO accreditation process. Thus government as well as stakeholders should integrate accreditation program into planning and health policy.
Key words: Accreditation, laboratory, quality, SLMTA, WHO-AFRO