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Lang’ata Hospital Responds To Reports Of Fake Covid-19 Tests, Closure Of Its Labs

Lang'ata Hospital. [PHOTO/ COURTESY]

Lang’ata Hospital has refuted reports that it has been closed for fake Covid-19 tests and stocking expired testing kits.

Instead, the management in a statement say that all its patients who required testing for Covid-19 were taken to Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) under a special arrangement.

“In an effort to respond to the needs of our patients, we reached out to the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) on the possibility of referring our patients for testing at its facility. We received an affirmative response from the relevant officers at KEMRI, and it is on that basis that we put in place safety procedures to enable our patients to be provided with valid COVID-19 testing services at KEMRI,” read the statement in part.

The management says that booking of tests was done by appointment only in order to limit the patients to be tested at any one time to a safe number. The patients would report to Lang’ata Hospital where they would be processed and advised on safety procedures, then driven to KEMRI for testing then back to the hospital after the testing in the hospital ambulance.

Read: Lang’ata Hospital Director, Three Others Charged With Stocking Expired Lab Chemicals

“No COVID-19 tests were ever done nor samples taken at Lang’ata Hospital. We were advised by KEMRI that each test would be done at a cost of Ksh4,000. Lang’ata Hospital charged a fee of Ksh1,500 for facilitation and enabling the transportation of patients to KEMRI, thereby bringing the fees charged to each patient to a total of Ksh5,500. Lang’ata Hospital would collect these results within 48 hours of testing and deliver them to the patients,” the statement added.

The management further clarified that their marketing team erroneously published a poster that misled the public on testing of Covid-19 at the facility.

“Our marketing team erroneously published a poster which may be construed to mean that there was a formal partnership between Langata Hospital and KEMRI. A withdrawal of the poster was ordered as soon as it was brought to the attention of the management. The poster was never intended to mislead the public in any way. It was only intended to assure our patients of the validity of the testing services they would receive through the hospital,” they added.

On Wednesday, the hospital labs were raided by Kenya Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technology Board (KMLTTB) officials over the alleged fake Covid-19 tests.

Lang’ata Hospital director Dr Ashoke Singh Matharu, and three other employees were on Thursday arraigned and charged with stocking unvalidated and expired laboratory reagents.

The others were; Muffadal Ammar HassamJee (operations manager) and Herbert Cheruiyot Charles (lab technician) and Beatrice Awino (lab technician).

Read: Lang’ata Hospital Labs Closed For Carrying Out Fake COVID-19 Tests

According to court documents the four had in their possession expired medical laboratory reagent namely bilirubin (T),combi 35, Ast Got, Actone, Area Bun/UV, Magnesium, Trigs,Excel, Labsystems, Bsa Accurate against the Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists Act.

They were also charged with using unvalidated laboratory reagents.

The four entered a not guilty plea and were released on bail. Ashoke and Ammar were released on a Sh100,000 cash bail each.

On the other hand, Cheruiyot and Awino were freed on Sh50,000 cash bail each.

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Written by Francis Muli

Follow me on Twitter @francismuli_. Email francis@kahawatungu.com

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