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Lab development, capacity building, quality lab management systems crucial – GHS Dir-Gen Dr. Kuma-Aboagye

Lab development, capacity building, quality lab management systems crucial – GHS Dir-Gen Dr. Kuma-Aboagye

Director-General of Ghana Health Service (GHS) Dr. Patrick Kumah-Aboagye
says his outfit is committed to laboratory development, quality lab management systems, improvement in services, vaccine supply and capacity building aimed at achieving sustainable diagnostic strategies required for desirable health outcomes. Ghana is set to begin the next phase of Covid-19 vaccination Thursday April 21, 2022.

Dr. Patrick Kumah-Aboagye, Director-General of Ghana Health Service addressing 8th CelebrateLab West Africa Conference in Accra-Ghana

According to Dr. Kuma-Aboagye, laboratory services are crucial and the Ghana Health Service acknowledges the urgent need to strengthen laboratory systems in the efforts to contain, combat and prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

Speaking at CelebrateLab West Africa Conference 2022 in Accra-Ghana on Wednesday April 20, Director-General of Ghana Health Service Dr. Patrick Kumah-Aboagye said “Laboratory services are crucial, the Ghana Health Service recognises the need to ensure system upgrade in the lab sector, strict adherence to quality lab practices and others”.

Dr. Kuma-Aboagye noted that “The Ghana Health Service has embarked on Structured Lab Quality Management System and using Mentorship Programmes to improve on quality of laboratory services. In collaboration with the Ministry of Health, we have also carried out a series of activities to support laboratory system strengthening. These include:

1. Laboratory Quality Management System (LQMS) Baseline Assessment to determine adherence to good laboratory practices outlined in the international standard – ISO 15189:2012
2. Training of national & regional Laboratory Quality Management System & Mentorship supervisors/facilitators on LQMS & Mentorship tools.
3. The development of National Laboratory Mentorship Framework
4. And as I speak to you, integrated lab services monitoring is currently underway across the country.

The Service has also developed a laboratory policy and strategic plan, which is currently undergoing consideration at the Health Ministry for completion.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, the Ghana Health Service will continue to implement the right policies and programmes to strengthen our health system to ensure that our citizens get better access to healthcare services beyond the current pandemic.

Distinguished delegates, conference organizers and ambassadors, we are very honoured to serve as the host institution for the conference for the second time and we look forward to receiving the outcome of your deliberations.

I wish you a fruitful conference. Akwaba! Vous êtes les bienvenus. Enjoy your stay in Accra, and if you have time, do visit other parts of the country. I thank you!”.

Globally, the vast majority of people who are unvaccinated against Covid-19 live in Lower Middle Income Countries (LMIC), particularly within sub-Saharan Africa. This includes Ghana, where only 14.4% of the population is considered fully vaccinated as of March 2022. A key factor negatively impacting vaccination campaigns is vaccine hesitancy, defined as the delay in the acceptance, or total refusal of vaccines.

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Contributing to the debate, Ghana’s Minister of Health Kwaku Agyeman-Manu in a speech read on his behalf by his Deputy Tina Gifty Naa Ayeley Mensah revealed Government of Ghana has constituted Vaccine Production Committee to see to the development of vaccines in Ghana”.

SirleafHer Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of Liberia speaking at CelebrateLab West Africa Conference 2022 via zoom.

Meanwhile, former President of Liberia and Guest Speaker Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has asked African Government to respect the roles of laboratory professionals to achieve quality results. According to her, governments within the African Continent should scale up development of strong regulations for the laboratory sector, provision of adequate medical devices and capacity building.

H.E Johnson Sirleaf noted that “Laboratory Scientists are need for effective healthcare system. I thank President of Ghana Nana Akufo-Addo for collaborating the West Africa Region”.

Dr. Mosoka P. Fallah of Africa CDC speaking at 8th CelebrateLab West Africa Conference in Accra-Ghana, Alisa Hotel 

On his part, Dr. Mosoka P. Fallah of Africa CDC wants the stakeholders in the Africa Region to ” intensify capacity building for laboratories as a critical system upgrading factor to battle against infectious diseases including Covid-19″.

Founder and CEO of Africabio Enterprise Inc. Candace B. Eastman speaking at opening of 8th CelebrateLab West Africa Conference, Accra-Ghana

Founder and CEO of Africabio Enterprise Inc. Candace B. Eastman says there is the need for African Laboratory Scientists to remove doubts in their ability to fight infectious diseases”.

University of Jos’ Professor James Garba Damen and National President of Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN)

National President of Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN) University of Jos’ Professor James Garba Damen of Medical Microbiology Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences and Technology College of Health Sciences has expressed confidence that answers to burning questions in terms standards, training, building effective systems for various health sectors including laboratory subsector across the West African sub-region will be discovered. Partnerships are necessary to sustain what we have built over the years. It’s fact that Covid-19 has promoted lab scientists because exposed the loopholes in the lab sector and the urgent need single out system upgrade”.

Abu

President of Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists (GAMLS) Dr. Abu Abudu Rahamani in a statement delivered on his behalf by GAMLS PRO, West African Postgraduate College of Medical Laboratory Science (WAPCMLS) and Kintampo Health Research Centre Fellow Dr. Dennis Gyasi wants the book runners of Ghana’s health sector to improve the acquisition of accreditation for lab scientists.

According to Dr. Abu Abudu Rahamani “It’s worth reporting that through the support of Ghana’s Ministry of Health and Ministry of Defense, the Central Laboratory of Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital , National Public Health Reference Laboratory and Pathology Division of 37 Military Hospital have all been accredited on the ISO 15189: 2012. The roles of the private sector in the Medical Laboratory sector have been phenomenal. We can boost of some private accredited medical laboratories offering valuable services to citizens. We equally have most of our laboratories doing well based on the WHO AFRO SLIPA assessment tool. This points to the fact that with little more supports for laboratories, we can have every laboratory accredited thereby saving cost of care and length of hospital stay. Let me use this opportunity to call on our stakeholders and private sector to continue to support the efforts of improving medical laboratory standards in Ghana and West Africa as a whole”.

Dr. Ignatius N.A. Awinibuno, Chief Programme Officer in-charge of Allied Health at Ghana’s Ministry of Health and former GAMLS President during panel discussion at 8th CelebrateLab West Africa Conference in Accra-Ghana.

Chief Programme Officer in-charge of Allied Health at Ghana’s Ministry of Health and former GAMLS President Dr. Ignatius A.N. Awinibuno says system upgrade, strengthening laboratories, formulation of favourable policies and development of workforce are required to improve the laboratory subsector.

CelebrateLab West Africa Conference 2022, laboratory professionals’ annual meeting in Accra-Ghana, is on theme : “Ensuring Diagnostic Capability and Vaccine Sufficiency as Panacea to Combating Infectious Diseases in West Africa”.

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