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An effective laboratory service is an essential part of a functional health service.

Laboratories provide confirmatory diagnosis and improved management of disease,essential public health information and disease surveillance. Due to this wide-ranging role, laboratories are an important part of many disease control programmes.

The Mater Hospital main Laboratory therefore forms an integral part of The Mater Hospital, offering a 24 hour service. In line with our mission statement, we assure all our clients of timely, affordable, compassionate and high quality diagnostic services.

Mater Hospital also operates six( 6)laboratories in our medical centres at Town Development house, Buru Buru, Kasarani, Embakasi, Westlands and Thika.

The laboratory is staffed with experienced laboratory technologists and backed by four specialised Consultant Pathologists and a Quality Officer.

All routine tests results are available within one hour of sampling or receiving samples at the laboratory. Other specialised tests takes longer time depending on the type of the test.

Quality Assurance

Quality Assurance Programs assure laboratory staff, clinicians and patients that laboratory test results are reliable, reproducible and relevant.

In addition to complying with ISO 9001 certification like the rest of the Mater Hospital, the laboratory has been accredited to ISO 15189 -2012 (a specific standard for competence in Medical Laboratories) .

This is a formal international recognition that the laboratory and its staff are competent to carry out its activities by meeting the quality management and technical competence requirements.

To this end the laboratory has a Quality officer dedicated to ensuring Quality work and results are generated daily.

The laboratory also has membership with an External Quality Assurance program i.e. Human Quality Assessment Scheme (HUQAS) of Canada and performs a daily Internal Quality Control.

The laboratory benchmarks with other hospitals and keeps the highest possible standards through the provision of qualified staff, equipment and facilities. Currently technology is in use with our section equipment and tests being reviewed annually.

Services offered

  • Clinical chemistry
  • Haematology
  • Immuno-haematology
  • Histopathology/ Cytology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology/Endocrinology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Phlebotomy and Reception

Clinical Chemistry

Olympus AU 480 is a fully automated Chemistry analyzer with a throughput of 800 tests per hour and simultaneously programmable for 63 different analyses. It handles both routine and specialised tests like:

  • Liver function tests
  • Kidney (renal) function tests
  • Cardiac (Heart) function tests and markers
  • Lipid profiles analysis of cholesterol levels and related products
  • Bone metabolism tests
  • Muscle enzymes tests
  • Diabetic screens Blood glucose and glycated haemoglobin
  • Electrolytes
  • Therapeutic drug monitoring
  • Pancreatic profiles
  • Drug of abuse profile.

The backup at the section is Olympus AU 400 a machine as efficient as AU480


The section deals with diagnosing blood disorders such as:

  • Anaemia
  • Leukaemia
  • Coagulation studies – bleeding disorders
  • Malaria

The main Equipment for blood counts at haematology is Cell Dyne Ruby, while Cell Dyne 3700 acts as the backup machine.

Coagulation studies are performed using ACL Elite as the main machine while ACL 200 acts as a backup coagulation machine.


The Laboratory runs a 24-hour blood bank that ensures safe blood is provided to the patients who require it. Efforts are made to maintain an adequate supply of blood and blood components like whole blood, packed red blood cells, fresh frozen plasma, platelet concentrate and cryoprecipitate.

Blood grouping and cross match are done using automated Ortho Bio Vue system supplemented by manual methods.

Blood Donation Services

The Mater Blood Donor Service is managed by a full time senior donor Nurse. The source of our blood for transfusion is from patients relatives, voluntary donors and also partly National Blood Transfusion Services.

Volunteers are encouraged to join The Mater Hospital Donor Club or visit and donate a pint of blood to save a life of a needy person.

Molecular Biology

This section performs HIV viral load testing, CD4 levels , PCR TB, Chlamydia and MRSA

Equipment used in Molecular Biology section are:

  1. Nuclisens Easy Q (Viral Load machine)

A machine capable of detecting very low viral load levels in patients, offering one of the highest degrees of sensitivity available today and real time results; turnaround time of 4 hours at testing.

2 BD.Facs count and Partec cyflow counter are the machines used to perform CD4 counts.

3. Hain life science system is used to perform PCR for TB, Chlamydia and MRSA.


Microbiology section.

The section involves standard analysis of specimens for bacterial, parasitic, and TB infections.

Tests done include:

  • Bacterial cultures – aerobic and anaerobic
  • Drug susceptibility testing; wide variety of antibiotics.
  • TB screening using ZN and Fluorescent microscopy.
  • A wide range of rapid antigen detection tests e.g. H.pylori, salmonella antigen, streptococcal Antigen, Rotadenovirus and bacterial antigen.

Immunology and endocrinology section

The section is equipped with modern automated analyzers such as Architect plus , Cobas e411 and Mini Vidas.

The tests performed include:

  • Thyroid Function Tests
  • Tumour Markers (cancer screening tests)
  • Retrovirus (HIV)
  • Reproductive hormones e.g. BHCG, FSH and LH
  • Therapeutic Drug Monitoring
  • Hepatitis A, B & C
  • Anti CCP
  • Procalcitonin.

Histology / Cytology

This section deals with the following specimens

  1. Biopsies, FNAs and Pap smears
  2. Postmortem specimens
  3. Body fluids e.g. pleural fluid, CSF etc.

Histology and cytology of the above specimens enables detection of cancer and other diseases.


Manned by two qualified morticians and has a capacity of 10 bodies. It is open 24 hours and also receives bodies from outside when vacancy is available.

The core business of the morgue is:

  • Storage and preservation of bodies (cadavers)
  • Performing requested post mortems (autopsy)
  • Embalming bodies on request
  • Body preparation before releasing to relatives