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Two specialized testing centres for Covid-19 too risky for the nation - GAMLs advices

By Wendy Amarteifio
Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research
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The Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists (GAMLs) has adviced government to resource other teaching centres to test suspected cases for COVID-19 in the country rather than focusing on the two specialized centres.

According to the Association, the two centres which are the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research and the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research might not be able to contain other cases of the latest pandemic if it spreads rapidly in the country.

In an interview on Uniqq FM today, March 17 2020, President of the Association, Dr Ignatius A.N. Awinibuno indicated the need for more specialized testing centres of the deadly Covid-19 to assist in the fight of the disease

''All attention is on Noguchi and KCCI but what if we have thousand, two thousand cases coming out, do these people have the capacity to handle all these cases? All the teaching hospitals do specialized testing, we are talking about the use of higher technology to do this. We want to question government why the attention is on only two testing centres. As a professional body, we want to advise that this is too risky and we are technical people, they must take this counsel seriously before we are hit because this may not be the only outbreak others may come''.

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Dr Awinibuno also said it is necessary for government to scale up the capacity of other public facilities to provide such services, adding testing centres should be established closeby and resourced to handle such cases.

It will be recalled that on March 15 2020, the Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists (GAMLs) issued a communique advising its members to withdraw from environments where personal protective equipment (PPEs) are not available for the discharge of their duties.

Justifying their directive in the interview, Dr Awinibuno indicated that without the proper PPEs to protect the health workers and the suspected Covid-19 patient, there are high consequences imposed on them.

Again, in his defence, he added that health workers do not have insurance covers to even protect them in case they are infected with the virus, therefore their directive to its members.

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