24 Hr Laboratory
The laboratory is a key support function at PCEA Kikuyu Hospital that interfaces with almost all units. Eight laboratory technologists work at the department carrying out an average of 2,500 medical tests on a daily basis.
This unit carries out routine diagnostic tests that include malaria tests, urinalysis and HIV testing and monitoring among others. The department also performs tests in several branches of medicine: microbiology, hematology and parasitology. For patients on anti-retro viral therapy, the technologists also carry out opportunistic infections tests for tuberculosis (TB), malaria and fungal infections.
The laboratory has also carved out partnerships with the United States based Centre for Diseases Control (CDC), Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) and Aids Relief Program. Under this collaboration, it refers HIV confirmatory tests for infants as well as those specialized tests that cannot be performed at PCEA Kikuyu Hospital. Besides the organizations outlined above, the unit also has similar arrangements with other credible laboratories within the country to which it refers special cases.
Being a support function, the department also services a number of departments within the hospital. These include diabetes management, family health and outpatient departments within the general hospital.
Going up the scale of specialization, its other clients include the Eye Unit and the inpatient component of the hospital's five wards. The laboratory also serves other hospitals around Kiambu, Kikuyu and even Nairobi that refer tests to the department.
The hospital's aim is to keep its laboratory charges affordable to the public. Even then, a premium is placed on some tests, resulting in variations across the board.
While the unit is largely financed out of the hospital's own coffers, it has been able to attract some, largely material assistance from a number of organizations. The Kenya TB program, for instance, provides the unit with re-agents for TB screening, while the National Blood Donor Centre gives already-screened blood. Other partners include the Aids Relief Organization, among others.
The laboratory has endeavoured to maintain its cutting edge, especially on the technological front, which is perhaps why it continues to attract so many referrals. One of its most recent additions on this front is the ELISA equipment, which is used to carry out foolproof tests for HIV.