Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has urged manufacturers, hospitals and clinical laboratories to regularly calibrate medical equipment. This will help reduce device related errors with an aim to enhance patient care and safety in the country.

Speaking during World Metrology Day Celebrations organized under the theme Measurement for Health, Lt. Col. (Rtd.) Bernard Njiraini, KEBS Managing Director said, “Medical devices are key in diagnosis and treatment of disease. However, due to constant use, these equipment are prone to drifting and damage which impacts their performance. If a patient’s physiological, biochemical, physical, and other parameters cannot be accurately measured, the resulting decision on treatment therapy based on false test results can severely jeopardize preservation of life.”

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 4 out of 10 patients are harmed in primary and outpatient health care with most errors relating to diagnosis, prescription, and the use of medicines. An estimated 80% of this harm is preventable.

This year’s World Metrology Day celebrations aim to raise awareness on the significance of measurement in healthcare against the during the COVID-19 pandemic. Globally, metrology has been lauded for its contribution in calibration of testing devices, development of personal protective equipment (PPEs) and other medical devices such as ventilators and freezers for vaccine storage.

In Kenya, metrology has contributed in the development of over 6 technical standards to bolster local manufacturing of quality PPEs such as masks and medical devices such as ventilators in the fight against COVID-19.

Also speaking during the celebrations, the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Industrialization, Hon. Betty Maina, EGH, expressed optimism in the application measurement for effective and efficient delivery of healthcare in the country. “All instruments and equipment used in our health institutions must be accurately calibrated to ensure the highest degree of quality control and patient protection,” she said.

Globally, World Metrology Day is jointly celebrated by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) and the International Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML).