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‘ZABS condoms results credible’

Story Highlights
  • This follows claims by the Indian manufacturers of the controversial gloves and condoms which Honey Bee Pharmacy supplied to the Ministry of Health that the laboratory tests conducted by ZABS were faulty.

By AARON CHIYANZO

ZAMBIA Bureau of Standards laboratories results are credible, reliable, consistent, and internationally acceptable, executive director, Manuel Mutale has said.

This follows claims by the Indian manufacturers of the controversial gloves and condoms which Honey Bee Pharmacy supplied to the Ministry of Health that the laboratory tests conducted by ZABS were faulty.

Mr Mutale however said the condoms laboratories at ZABS are accredited to ISO 17025, the International Standard for General requirements for competence of Testing and Calibration Laboratories.

He said the laboratories had undergone a thorough third party assessment and had been proved to comply with ISO 17025.

Mr Mutale said at a press briefing that accreditation was the highest level of credibility any laboratory could achieve in as far as testing was concerned.

He said accreditation focusses on a number of requirements such as Management systems, Technical requirements, and competence of staff, equipment creditability, risk management, confidentiality and impartiality.

“ZABS dispels all the baseless allegations that are spreading in the public domain about the institution’s lack of competence, integrity and credibility,” said Mr Mutale.

Mr Mutale said the specifications used to analyse the condoms were in line with ISO 4074:2015, which specifies the requirements and test methods for natural rubber latex male condoms.

He said for the gloves, the products were tested against ISO 11193, which specifies the requirements for gloves made from rubber latex or rubber solution.

“The test results for these products are accurate, impartial and credible. There should be no doubts about the credibility of the test reports produced by the condoms laboratory,” said Mr Mutale.

And Mr Mutale said the ZABS laboratories participate in proficiency testing schemes (PTs), where the data produced by a laboratory was compared with other similar laboratories to assess the performance of laboratories for their conduct of specific tests, measurements or calibrations.

“The ZABS condoms laboratory participates in proficiency testing schemes and has over the past seven years been scoring 100 percent. This is proof that the tests conducted in this laboratory can be trusted and held to high standards,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Mutale explained that Quality Management System and Procedures on confidentiality and impartiality does not allow ZABS to issue out results to third parties but only to clients that bring samples for analysis.

“Our focus is never on who manufactured those products or who supplied them but on producing credible results with which our clients can make an informed decision,” he said. 

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