-1 March 2017-  The KEMRI Polio Laboratory has received two prestigious international recognitions for its continued professional proficiency and adherence to quality tests and results.


A Netherlands-based Specialized Reference Laboratory for Polio (RIVM) under the Polio Global Eradication Initiative gave the Laboratory a perfect score of 100 percent in the WHO Global Polio Laboratory Network (GPLN), Virus Isolation Proficiency Testing 2016-1 carried out towards the end of 2016.


A similar verdict was separately received from the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, USA for “excellent performance on the 2016 Poliovirus Intra-Typhic Differentiation/Vaccine Derived Polio Virus (ITD/VDPV) Proficiency Testing Panel”. This panel tested the GPLN laboratory technical ability, equipment limitations, and knowledge of the algorithm post-PV2 withdrawal and which the KEMRI Polio laboratory scored 100 percent.


The Polio Laboratory based at the Centre for Virus Research (CVR) of KEMRI is one of the 147 laboratories worldwide that form the Global Polio Laboratory Network (GPLN). The network was established in 1990 by the WHO and national governments, with a primary responsibility to distinguish polio as a cause of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) from diseases other than poliovirus.


All laboratories in the GPLN network are continually monitored for their adherence to quality indicators and have annual onsite accreditation assessments as well as proficiency testing. The laboratories follow standardized WHO procedures for detecting polioviruses from stool samples collected from AFP cases. The KEMRI Polio Laboratory not only tests specimens collected in Kenya, it also, tests specimens received from other countries including Somalia, Djibouti, South Sudan, Eritrea, Yemen, Ethiopia and the Comoros.


On 22nd December 2016, the KEMRI Polio laboratory participated in the WHO GPLN Virus Isolation proficiency testing (VI-PT-2016-1) program in which it has obtained a perfect score of 100 percent. Erwin Duizer, the Head of the Specialized Reference Laboratory for Polio, RIVM, the Netherlands, for the GPLN made the communication to KEMRI. Dr. Everardo Vega, the Lead Polio Expert from the CDC in Atlanta also, communicated the good news to KEMRI in a letter dated 14th, February 2017.


Dr. Gerald Mkoji, the Acting Director, KEMRI, heartily congratulates Dr. Peter Borus, the Head of the KEMRI Polio Laboratory and his excellent team of technical experts, for their excellent performance.