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Am J Clin Pathol. 2010 Sep;134(3):410-8. doi: 10.1309/AJCPZIRKDUS5LK2D.

Field experience in implementing ISO 15189 in Kisumu, Kenya.

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  • 1US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Kenya, Kisumu, Kenya.


Quality medical laboratory services are an integral part of routine health care, medical research, and public health systems. Despite this vital role, quality laboratory services in Africa are scarce. The crucial need for expanding quality laboratory services throughout sub-Saharan Africa is especially critical because of the region's burden of disease. Fortunately, several plans from supporting international partners are underway to help strengthen laboratory infrastructure in this region. A key component of these initiatives is the enforcement of quality assurance services through accreditation by international standards such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 15189. However, acquisition and maintenance of these standards are a significant challenge, especially in resource-limited settings. The most common limiting factors can include funding, government support, equipment, training opportunities, and poor procurement infrastructure. In this article, we discuss the challenges and benefits accrued in pursuing and sustaining ISO 15189 accreditation for the Kenya Medical Research Institute/Centre for Disease Control HIV-Research Laboratory in Kisumu, Kenya.

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