SPEEECH BY THE CHAIRPERSON OF KENAS PROF. MARION MUTUGI AT THE CELEBRATIONS TO MARK THE WORLD ACCREDITATION DAY CELEBRATIONS ON 7/6/2012 AT KICC NAIROBI.
Our Chief Guest, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Kenya and Commander in-Chief of the Armed Forces Hon. Mwai Kibaki.
The Right Honorable, Prime Minster of the Republic of Kenya Dr. Raila Odinga
Ministers and Assistant Ministers Present,
Permanent Secretaries Present,
The Board Members KENAS
Other Board members present,
Chief Executive Officer, KENAS
Other Chief Executive Officers Present,
Ladies and Gentlemen.
I am indeed gratified to welcome everyone to this year’s 5th World Accreditation whose theme is, Accreditation: supporting safe food and clean drinking water.
The International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) the umbrella bodies that oversee global Accreditation activities in the field of inspection, testing and Certification have designated June 9 every year as World Accreditation Day.
This day is celebrated every year and is intended to raise awareness around the globe of the importance of accreditation-related activities. This theme highlights how accreditation supports the availability of safe food and clean drinking water.
Although the influence and use of accreditation continues to grow across a wide range of economies and domestic policy areas, there are still many more policy areas that could benefit from accreditation. These areas include healthcare, inspection, Testing and Calibration, health and safety management, education, and waste management. For the healthcare industry, for instance, accreditation is beneficial in ensuring reliability of patient’s medical laboratory results, unsafe food and unclean water that enables diagnosis of diseases that could be attributed to the ailment. It is therefore vital for KENAS and other regulators to raise awareness and also resolve such situations.
Kenya Accreditation Service (KENAS) is obliged to promote and elucidate the World Accreditation Day theme each year. KENAS accredits Conformity Assessment Bodies that include management system processes, testing laboratories, inspection bodies, medical laboratories and product certification bodies to internationally recognized Conformity Assessment standards. These bodies include various organizations operating within Kenya’s food and water safety systems industry, supporting and ensuring safe food and clean drinking water.
Kenya has witnessed instances of food poisoning and deaths associated with aflatoxicosis due to poor storage of maize(liver cancer) and unclean water in parts of the country especially in the slum dwellings and therefore KENAS is therefore ready to provide accreditation services to the Conformity assessment Bodies (CABs) in these sectors so as to prevent such grave scenarios.
Accreditation confirms the competence and integrity of conformity assessment activities that support government policies and regulations that impact onKenya’s’ health, welfare, productivity and security, and protection of the environment.
KENAS’s accreditation services uphold the principle that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”particularly for an industry as vital to Kenya’s’ health and safety particularly food and water safety systems.
The KENAS board is committed to providing an oversight to enable KENAS achieve its vision, mission and goals. This entails recruitment of competent staff, constant review of the legal instrument and provision of finances. The Board is also committed in anchoring ethics,good governance principles at KENAS so as to comply with international best practice in accreditation.
I wishto take this opportunity to thank the government of Kenya for its continued support that has enabled KENAS grow to the current level. KENAS is an associate member at the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) and a member applicant at the International Accreditation Forum (IAF).
I also wish tourge the business community in both the private and public sectors to support KENAS in its quest to effectively and efficiently deliver on its mandate.
On behalf of the Board and KENAS Staff, I wish to sincerely thankHis Excellency the President for setting aside time from his very busy schedule to grace the auspicious occasion of Celebrating this year’s World Accreditation Day. I also wish to recognize the efforts his government has made in ensuring that KENAS was established and more importantly the efforts in ensuring that all Kenyans get access to safe food and clean drinking water for all as part of the aspirations of vision 2030.
Once again, it is my joy to ask all Kenyans to join the rest of the World in celebrating this great day, WAD celebrations 2012.
Thank you and May the almighty God bless you all.
Prof. Marion Mutugi
Chairperson KENAS Board.