The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) is set to start mobile laboratory testing for selected products authorized by the government of Uganda in the fight against COVID-19, in a bid to support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs’) recovery and resilience.
The products eligible for mobile laboratory testing include maize grain, maize flour, sanitisers, face masks and Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), among others.
The development follows a boost of the UNBS Laboratory testing equipment by the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) under the PSFU/MasterCard Covid-19 Recovery and Resilience Programme Project.
The equipment received includes an automatic colony counter for microbiological analysis; aflatoxin reader/kits and portable moisture meters for grain field-testing; a universal testing machine (UTM) of 10KN and a washing machine for personal protective equipment (PPE) testing (including masks).
During the handover ceremony of the equipment to UNBS by PSFU, the UNBS Executive Director, Mr. David Livingstone Ebiru said the equipment received has boosted UNBS Laboratory testing capacity by enabling mobile testing of samples in the field, in addition to the fixed laboratory testing done at the UNBS headquarters in Bweyogerere.
“We can now undertake mobile tests most especially for Aflatoxins within the maize value chain at the warehouses and millers’ premises. This will help us to increase the outreach to maize dealers across the country as opposed to them bringing the samples to the fixed laboratory equipment at standards house,” said Mr. David Livingstone Ebiru.
Mr. Ebiru added that the mobile testing capacity reduces turnaround time and increases the speed with which the Certificate of Analysis is completed to support businesses in getting the quality mark.
The Ag. Executive Director of the Private Sector Foundation Uganda, Mr. Francis Kisirinya said that the equipment given to UNBS does not only test COVID-19 related goods, but tests a wider scope of products which will help local manufacturers provide quality products.
“The good thing about this equipment is that it doesn’t test only COVID-19 related items. For example equipment that tests masks can test textiles and other fabrics, so it will help our local manufacturers to produce quality textiles and fabrics, which we can sell locally and internationally thus supporting Buy Uganda Build Uganda,” Mr. Kisirinya said.
UNBS is committed to continue implementing the Covid-19 Recovery and Resilience Programme Project in order to support the private sector to fully recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.