Government has been urged to establish a fund to support public health emergency response in the country.
The Covid-19 trust levy should be used as the basis for the establishment of the fund
Dr. Abu Abudu Rahamani, President of the Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists (GAMLS), who made the call, said the Covid-19 pandemic together with emerging threats of other viral infectious diseases, demanded a careful look at the country’s healthcare system, particularly in the diagnostic arm of health.
He made the call at the opening of this year’s annual congress of GAMLS at Fumeasua in the Ejisu Municipality of the Ashanti Region.
The five-day congress is on the theme: “Capacity Enhancement of Medical Laboratory Practice in Ghana; Cornerstone of Future Pandemic Response.”
Dr. Rahamani pointed said the threat of the outbreak of other global pandemics makes it necessary to create such a fund for the medical laboratory service in the areas of material, human resources, and infrastructural capacity building.
“Currently, there are diverse warnings that the next global pandemic of antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance and the epidemic of inequality in the low and middle income countries, lurk at the door.
“A situation even more escalated by the extensive misuse and overuse of antimicrobials in this era of Covid-19 pandemic.
“But what do we see. Our district laboratories have no microbiological testing capacity due to lack of infrastructure.
“Up to now, many of these laboratories fall short of reagents, rendering them incapable of delivering quality and highly standardized laboratory service to the predominantly impoverished Ghanaians patronizing our centres,” he stated.
Dr. Rahamani said capacity could not be achieved if there was no deliberate efforts, especially from the government.
He stressed the need for the Government to implement the West African Health Organization training curriculum for medical laboratory science practice, in the country.
Dr Tony Ao, Ghana Country Director of Centre for Disease Control (CDC), emphasized the need to diversify professional training and development of medical laboratory scientists to improve delivery.
He said strengthening regulatory framework of medical laboratory practice was necessary to improve care and pledged the continued support of CDC in providing the necessary technical assistance to support healthcare delivery in the country.
Dr. Emmanuel Tenkorang, Ashanti Regional Director of Health Services, commended medical laboratory professionals in the country for their arduous work and dedication in their work during the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said the lessons learnt during the fight against the pandemic should help guide health professionals in the management of any future pandemics in the country.