A Deputy Director of the Ghana Health Service in the Western Region, Dr. Emmanuel Atsu Dodor, has disclosed that there is a discussion to expand the laboratory services at the Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital to enable its reference laboratory carry tests on infectious diseases including Covid-19 in the future.
“What I know or what have been discussed is that we have a reference lab and it may be upgraded but that is a policy level decision. But we have discussed that possibility, so hopefully the reference lab at Effia Nkwanta will be upgraded to do those [COVID 19] tests in the future”.
In Ghana, it is only the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) and the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine (KCCR) that are capable of testing suspected cases of the Covid-19.
There is a growing call on government to upgrade the capacity of, at least, regional hospitals to be able to test such infectious diseases.
This way, NMIMR and KCCR will not be overwhelmed by the growing number of suspected Covid-19 cases and any other infectious disease in the future.
In an interview on Takoradi-based radio station Skyypowerfm and monitored by 3news.com, Dr. Atsu Dodor said it will be instructive that other health facilities are upgraded to test such infectious diseases.
He expressed delight that the reference laboratory at Effia Nkwanta will see such upgrade but added regrettably that he cannot say when that upgrade will happen.
“That decision is at the national level,” he stressed.
In the meantime, he strongly advised against going out unnecessarily, insisting that “go out only when you have something extremely important to do. Stay home because the virus is with us, so if you don’t go out the possibility of transmission and infection is prevented”.
He appealed to Ghanaians not to forget to wash their hands as often as possible, observe cough etiquette, social distancing and stop unproductive visits.
The Western Region Directorate of the Ghana Health Service has so far sent 18 suspected case of coronavirus to NMIMR.
Results of 11 of the cases released so far have tested negative. The remaining seven results are yet to be released.
By Eric Yaw Adjei|3news.com|Ghana