Columnists Features

Support wellness, use laboratory tested products

ZABS with HAZEL ZULU
LAST week the President of the Republic of Zambia, His Excellency, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, officially launched the National Health Week under the theme “Promoting wellness for all”. A number of activities were outlined for the entire

week from May 2 to 6,  2017. It is indeed gratifying to note that the issue of health in Zambia is being driven from the highest office and, as such, it is bound to be a successful undertaking.
And as was expected, every institution, whether private or public, and in fact every individual, was expected to join in this important event in one way or the other. And I hope, dear reader, the event marked the beginning of a healthier Zambia. And the emphasis for me is that it should become a way of life for many of us.
Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) is an organisation that provides efficient and effective standardisation, quality assurance and metrology services to industry, consumers and regulators in order to contribute to the improvement of the quality, competitiveness and safety of products and services in Zambia. Our aim is to ensure that the quality and safety of those products that fall under our mandate is guaranteed. Our focus is to provide a safe, consistent, competitive and quality product. That is why we were excited to be part of the National Health Week and we took it upon ourselves to promote our condoms testing laboratory.
Our chief executive officer (CEO), Mr Manuel Mutale, set the tone for the National Health Week from the perspective of ZABS. His message was clear and timely; it was a sincere call to all distributors and importers of latex condoms to ensure that their products are thoroughly checked and tested by ZABS. His call actually extended to all suppliers and distributors of latex condoms in Zambia including chemists, non-governmental organisations and drugstores.
Condoms, as you know, are critical products that can be used not only to prevent disease transmission and unwanted pregnancies, but also to promote well-being. Condoms should therefore be thoroughly checked before distribution to consumers to ensure that they are safe and reliable.
I therefore would like to take this opportunity to inform the public that the ZABS condoms testing laboratory is an accredited laboratory that is able to conduct physical testing of water leakages, pressure, lubricant quality and other parameters in latex condoms. The fact that it is an accredited laboratory simply means that test results from the ZABS condom testing laboratory will be accepted and recognised locally and internationally.
Accreditation, dear reader, is the formal recognition that an organisation is competent to perform specific processes, activities, or tasks. The recognition is as a result of an independent and impartial evaluation by an authoritative body against nationally and internationally recognised standards.
It is with great confidence therefore, dear reader, that I further wish to inform the public that in fact, ZABS tested 64 batches of condoms between January and March this year to ensure that they met the minimum requirement of the standard. The findings in terms of compliance was that most of the latex condoms that were tested were compliant and in cases where some have failed the test, the Bureau was able to remove them from the market on account of non-compliance.
Our message to all Zambians, therefore, is that they should personalise this year’s National Health Week theme by making a conscious decision to buy products that have been tested by recognised laboratories such as the ZABS ones to ensure safety and quality assurance.
Let me end by reminding you, dear reader, that ZABS has modern laboratories for testing and analysing of products to national and international standards as well as client specifications. Other products tested by ZABS include water, petroleum products, foodstuffs and fertilisers to mention but a few.
Have a fruitful and healthy week!

The author is Head – Marketing and Public Relations.
Contact the Director
Zambia Bureau of Standards
Lechwe House, Freedom Way
P.O. Box 50259, Lusaka
Tel: 260-211-231385,
zabs@zamnet.org.zm
hzulu@zabs.org.zm

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