Alabaster Laboratories receives HeFRA license as a COVID-19 testing centre

Digitisation HeFRA

The Health Facilities Regulatory Agency (HeFRA), has issued a Provisional License to Alabaster Laboratories Limited, a private medical laboratory, to operate as a certified COVID-19 testing centre.

The laboratory, which is situated within the Action Chapel International headquarters on the Spintex Road in Accra, received its provisional license having passed all the HeFRA inspection tests and certification by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA).

Reverend Kennedy Okosun, Director, Action Chapel International, at a brief presentation ceremony and the commissioning of the facility on Friday, thanked all who contributed immensely towards the realisation of the project.

He said the Centre would operate from Monday to Friday between 0800 hours and 1700 hours, to provide laboratory services including PCR and Antigen testing for COVID-19.

It will also give the required certificate for travelers after their analysis, and further deliver home testing services on the disease.

Rev. Okosun explained that the Action Chapel International, decided to support the fight against COVID-19 in Ghana by setting up a laboratory, hence Archbishop Nicholas Duncan Williams on February 5, 2021, tasked a five-member team of consultants and professionals to establish a functional testing centre for the novel coronavirus disease.

The immediate target was to test for suspected cases of COVID-19 within the church community and also reach out to all persons who would need their services, and to quickly link those diagnosed as positive, to treatment centres, he said.

He said all equipment needed for the testing of COVID-19, had been procured and the staff had also been trained on their correct use.

He said the facility had a staff strength of 12, made up of a Medical Director, Medical Laboratory Manager and Scientists, Data Entry Staff, Information Technology, Technical Supervisor, Quality and Safety Officers, Accountant and a Cashier among others, who were all in good standing with their Regulatory Authorities, and had further received training on biosafety by their counterparts from the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research.

The staff have been trained on Surveillance Outbreak Response and Management Analysis System (SORMAS), which is an open-source mobile health system that organise and facilitate infectious disease control, and break management procedure in addition to disease surveillance and epidemic analysis, for all administrative levels of a public health system, he said.

Archbishop Duncan Williams later prayed to dedicate and commission the facility for official use, and expressed the hope that the contribution of the church would enhance the quality of national health care delivery.

Dr Philip A. Bannor, Registrar of HeFRA, said COVID-19 had drained the resources needed to combat the devastating effects of the dreadful virus.

“The fight against the pandemic has spared no one, including many healthcare workers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect all of us,” recalling that 1052 persons have already succumbed to COVID-19 in the country, 6940 others still battling the disease, of whom 147 had severe cases, with 60 in critical condition at various treatment centres.

Dr Bannor stated that “while we pray for them, our efforts are better bolstered with a firm diagnosis of the disease. The essential part of removing any doubt of the disease is a scientific-based approach via PCR or antigen testing”.

He said the investment by the Church had made the certainty of diagnosis clearer to assist clinicians with disease management, saying until a cure was found the best efforts to combat the pandemic remained vaccination as 1,271,392 other Ghanaians had done.

Let’s always do the thorough hand washing, other basic hygiene and social distancing protocol, avoiding handshakes, and ensuring the regular disinfection of surroundings, he said.

He also encourage persons “who feel sick to stay at home and call the numbers 112, 0509497700 or 0558439868 for help.”

Dr Bannor challenged other religious bodies, Non-governmental Organisations, and corporate entities to invest in the health of communities in which they lived, adding that the Government inspite of its best efforts like vaccination and Agenda 111, could not shoulder entire healthcare needs of the population.

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