UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI

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KENAS accredits UoN Mycotoxins Lab

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CEO, KENAS, Mr. Martin Chesire (right) presents the certificate to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic Affairs, Prof. Julius Ogeng’o. Looking on is the team from the College of Biological and Physical Sciences.

The University of Nairobi Mycotoxins Laboratory has been awarded the ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accreditation by the Kenya Accreditation Service (KENAS).

This was after the laboratory passed the necessary evaluation set by the national accreditation body. The certificate was presented to the University on May 21, 2019 and was received by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic Affairs, Prof. Julius Ogeng’o who was representing the Vice-Chancellor.

In his remarks, Prof. Ogeng’o congratulated the team led by Prof. Sheila Okoth from the College of Biological and Physical Sciences in partnership with Texas A & M University’s Prof. Tim Herrman.

“Accreditation is one of the key things a world class university should have,” started Prof. Ogeng’o. “This lab encompasses three things that are key to a world class university. There is university-industry linkages, addresses food security which is a key issue in the Big 4 agenda and it is an initiative that provides solutions to the society.”

According to Prof. Okoth, the lab has carried out various tests for organization such as the World Food Programme, Kenya Bureau of Standards, among others. In addition the lab team is working with Meru County in developing a policy on food safety.

“Our role is to ensure that people and animals consume safe food. One major issue in Kenya is the high rate of deaths as a result of aflatoxin poisoning. Through the tests carried out in our lab, we are seeking to prevent aflatoxin poisoning. This accreditation is one that is credible and it comes at a good time when we need to ensure that everything that is consumed is safe.”

Prof. Bernard Aduda, the Principal, College of Biological and Physical Sciences emphasized the challenges aflatoxin brings about especially on food losses.

“This lab is indeed a centre of excellence that will be solving pertinent societal issues,” he added.

On his part, the CEO, KENAS, Mr. Martin Chesire, congratulated the University on receiving the certification. “KENAS is charged with the accreditation of testing and calibration laboratories. We issued over 200 accreditations in the country. Our role is to drive-up standards to meet international standards. We are the ‘checkers’ of ‘checkers’ as we are the second body in the region doing that,” he explained.

The Mycotoxins Lab is the second UoN lab to receive the highly coveted accreditation from KENAS. The first lab to pass the test was the University of Nairobi Lighting Laboratory (UoN-LL) whose certification was presented to the University in 2018.

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