Expand Laboratory testing before easing restrictions- GAMLS to Gov’t



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The Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists (GAMLS) has asked government to expand the laboratory testing services before easing restrictions placed on social gatherings.

According to the Association, COVID-19 testing capacity must be expanded to all regions especially the former Brong Ahafo Region (Kintampo Health Research Centre (KHRC)) and Upper East Region (Navrongo Health Research Centre (NHRC).

A statement issued and copied to Atinkaonline.com states that, it is imperative to make adequate provisions for COVID-19 testing to include the use of more Real Time PCR for testing in our clinical laboratories, the operationalization of over 100 GeneXpert equipment and use of Rapid Diagnostics tests kits as approved by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) for mass screening by qualified professionals.

The association has since called on government to, as a matter of urgency, engage the services of the qualified but unemployed professionals to support in the health facilities as we battle COVID-19.

 

Read full statement below:

COVID-19 UPDATES: EXPAND LABORATORY TESTING SERVICES WHILE RELAXING RESTRICTIONS

The Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists (GAMLS) has taken note of recent events and number of COVID-19 cases reported in Ghana. The professional body has followed with keen interest the issues surrounding the need to relax restriction in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The professional body considering the current situation wishes to state the following positions.

  1. The peculiarities of Ghana’s COVID-19 due to divine, natural and other human factors has generally presented with low mortality and good prognosis for persons who get infected. Most of the persons infected are generally asymptomatic and those who show symptoms are mild in their clinical presentations.
  2. Prior to relaxing the restrictions, it is imperative to make adequate provisions for COVID-19 testing to include the use of more Real Time PCR for testing in our clinical laboratories, the operationalization of over 100 GeneXpert equipment and use of Rapid Diagnostics tests kits as approved by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) for mass screening by qualified professionals.
  3. The capacity of medical laboratories should be built immediately across the country to provide routine and additional complementary testing (such as Malaria diagnosis, Urinalysis, Stool R/E, Full Blood Count, liver function tests and other tests of importance) to help in the management of COVID-19 patients in our hospitals. Samples of COVID-19 patients are to be handled in facilities capable of handling Biosafety Level 2 pathogens. Most of our laboratories in Ghana lack these infrastructures.
  4. GAMLS as the professional body cautions not to ease restrictions if testing for COVID-19 patients could not be performed in a timely manner to release results for isolation and management of affected persons in our health facilities. COVID-19 testing capacity must be expanded to all regions especially the former Brong Ahafo Region (Kintampo Health Research Centre (KHRC)) and Upper East Region (Navrongo Health Research Centre (NHRC)).
  5. A policy direction, especially concerning Medical Laboratory practice, should be given to ensure the investments in the health sector promised by the President in his previous address do not go waste as the sector has been neglected over the years as alluded by the President of Ghana.
  6. That with immediate effect, government should engage the services of the qualified but unemployed professionals to support in the health facilities as we battle COVID-19.

GAMLS calls for the provision of the required Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) for routine use and COVID-19 patient testing for medical laboratory professionals and all health workers. The public is encouraged to respect the directive by the President and strictly maintain the good personal hygiene practices.

Laboratory regards,

 

Dr. Dennis Adu-Gyasi, FWAPCMLS (Immunol)

GAMLS, PUBLIC RELATIONS, 29th May 2020

 

MEMBER INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF BIOMEDICAL LABORATORY SCIENCE (IFBLS)

FEDERATION OF AFRICAN ASSOCIATION OF MEDICAL LABORATORY SCIENTISTS (FAAMLS)

CLINICAL AND LABORATORY STANDARDS INSTITUTE (CLSI)

GHANA FEDERATION OF ALLIED HEALTH PROFESSIONS (GFAHP)

 

 

 

Ghana | Atinkaonline.com | Vincent Kwofie