World Metrology Day

May 20th each year is World Metrology Day. It is a special day to commemorate the signing of the Metre Convention, which took place in Paris, France, May 20th 1875. The Metre Convention advocates for adherence to the International System of Units (SI units).

Tanzania is already determined to use SI units and the Tanzania Bureau of Standards’ Metrology Laboratory is the Custodian of National Measurement Standards. The establishment of the Custodian of National Measurement Standards aims at ensuring accuracy and traceability of all measurements in the country.

That is to say, when one measures the length of a piece of cloth in Tanzania and finds it to be one metre, the cloth should also measure one metre when measured in another laboratory in the UK or France. In this sense, a 20oC temperature measured in Tanzania should be the same when measured in UK or any other country; and one kilogram should be the same throughout the world. We can only ensure that our measurements are compatible with measurements in other countries, if we calibrate our measuring implements at TBS Metrology Laboratory.

Suppose you go to a hospital to check your body temperature and you are wrongly told that it is at 42oC. This means the doctor will give you wrong prescriptions. You check the pressure and you are given wrong readings. You measure your weight and you get wrong readings. You measure carbon monoxide emission from a car and you get wrong readings. In totality, wrong measurements have very negative effects. That is why we are compelled to sensitize the public in general and the industrialists in particular, on the importance of ensuring use of right measurements.

The government’s decision to establish the TBS Metrology Laboratory as the Custodian of National Measurement Standards is part of its efforts to ensure that Tanzanians use appropriate measurements.

The Metrology Laboratory is already accredited to ISO 17025, General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories, since December 15, 2006. This is the first laboratory in Tanzania to reach such a step. This means the laboratory is capable to issue test reports which are recognized throughout the world. I call upon the general public to utilize the services of this laboratory. Even when you go to hospital you can ask, “Is this thermometer/pressure gauge calibrated by TBS?”