Nairobi News


Lancet CEO takes a break from social media after Kagwe orders probe of his lab

Pathologists Lancet Kenya CEO and founder Ahmed Kalebi on Friday said that he was taking a break from social media to concentrate on at his lab, which has come under fire for producing conflicting results.

On Thursday, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said he had directed the medical board to immediately begin a probe on laboratories producing unclear results, urging Kenyans to avoid visiting such facilities.

“It is true that there is one lab, specifically Lancet that carried out these tests that eventually turned from positive to negative. It is also the same lab that had also tested a group of people in Nairobi that also had the same circumstances,” said the Health CS.

The announcement seems to have jolted Kalebi who now says he has quit social media.

“To all my tweeples and acquaintances, I’m taking timeout for a few days from Twitter & Social Media to concentrate with my team at @LancetKenya_PLK on attending to the surge in COVID-19 laboratory samples and mitigate the disruptions we’ve experienced in our workflow,” he said on Twitter.

He defended his lab by saying that testing at Pathologists Lancet Kenya had already given an extensive response at various levels.

Kagwe advised Kenyans to go to labs that they feel will give them the right information adding that laboratories risk closure should they be found to have violated any set regulations.

“We have asked the medical board to relook at some of these labs and where we believe a laboratory is not adhering to the standards then definitely we will close them down,” he said.

According to the Health CS, the worst thing that the government can do is have a situation where people question the results that they give.

“The Ministry will take its measures, we have asked our board to review that particular laboratory. But what I would like to urge is that if a lab has got all these unclear results, don’t go there. Why are you going to a lab that you know has been giving information that may not be clear,” he said.

The laboratory was put on the spot over discordant Covid-19 results of 17 teaching staff of St Andrew’s School Turi, who tested positive and negative three days later.

Some 24 samples were picked from the institution and taken to Lancet for testing.

However, when the school sought a second opinion and the samples taken to the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri), the 17 turned negative, according to the results the institution received yesterday.

This is not the first time that the laboratory is issuing Covid-19 results that contradict other testing institutions.

Kalebi has previously defended its results, saying discordant results can come about when patients are nearing the end of the infection and stopped secreting virus.

On Wednesday, he wrote on Twitter: