Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) and the Danish government have committed to facilitating the decentralisation of laboratory testing services at the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) with equipment worth sh6.4b ($1.8m).
Officials say the decentralisation initiative will help spread laboratory testing services to UNBS regional offices such as Arua and Gulu, a move that will reduce the turnaround time for manufacturers to receive product certification.
UNBS executive director, David Livingstone Ebiru made the revelation during the official launch of a separate set of medical laboratory equipment donated by TMEA with support from the Danish government used for the testing of medical equipment dedicated to fighting COVID-19 such as medical masks.
The medical equipment received includes; Rapid Alcohol Analyser used for the determination of alcohol content, pH meters used for the determination of the pH levels, and Splash Resistance tester for the determination of resistance to penetration among others.
Livingstone said the decentralisation of laboratory services will reduce the cost of doing business, support agro-industrialisation and the recently launched parish development model initiative by the government.
“We look forward to formally receiving this equipment. The results should be seen in the number of samples we are testing and turnaround time,” Livingstone said.
He noted that the equipment, once received, will ensure the quality of locally manufactured products on the market; adding that it will also enhance Uganda’s competitiveness for exports to the regional and international markets.
Anna Nambooze, country director at TMEA said improving product standards is key to ensuring the safety of consumers as well as penetrating new markets.
H.E Nicolaj Hejberg Petersen, the Danish Ambassador to Uganda said the equipment will help develop Uganda’s private sector.
According to UNBS, in the near future, chemical and microbial analysis of identified commodities such as edible fats and oils, milk and milk products, fruits and vegetables, cereal and cereal products, fish, meat, honey and horticultural products, will be done at the regional offices in Mbale, Gulu, Arua and Mbarara.
Source: New Vision