Ghana’s major Laboratory for testing, Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research (NMIMR) says it is currently conducting a Coronavirus testing audit and is hoping to clear all the backlog of 7,000 samples.
The Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research is one of the principal facilities delivering COVID-19 tests in Ghana.
The audit comes at a time when the centre has about 7,000 novel corona virus samples to test.
Ghana Health Service (GHS) on July 2, 2020, attributed the backlog at the various testing facilities to logistical constraints.
In an interview, the Director of the Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research, Prof. Abraham Kwabena Anang said the move was to help improve its testing capacity and also clear all backlog of tests to be done.
“In order to deliver the usual Noguchi excellence, I have put in place a process audit, a quality audit, an output audit and also an audit to evaluate the entire process. It is part of quality assurance processes. Our goal is to eliminate any backlog that is there. Completely eliminate it.”
“Like we did previously using the pool testing and managed to contain a situation that many countries didn’t even have the capacity to do, today, we have been proven to be right. Even big countries are adopting pool testing. We have the capacity to deliver excellently. We have to put in place a system to be able to deliver on 4,000 or 5,000 tests a day,” Prof. Abraham Kwabena Anang said .
We’re working on speeding up testing for coronavirus
Meanwhile, the Ghana Health Service says it is working on speeding up testing for the novel corona virus disease.
Over the past week days, individuals who have had their samples taken for testing have agitated over the delay in the release of test results.
But in respond the Ghana Health Service has attributed the delay in testing samples of suspected COVID-19 cases to logistical constraints.
Dr. Kuma-Aboagye, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, said preparations are underway to salvage the situation at the centre.
“We have experienced some delays in the lab. That is because we have a few logistical challenges. The laboratory requires for PCR, reagents, test kits and all manner of things. There is a global scramble for them so even sometimes when you have money, you aren’t able to get one, but we know by the end of this weekend, we are having a consignment arriving and hopefully, next week, we’ll start wrapping up the tests and reduce the delay.”
“But our idea is that if there’s a cause to take your sample, you are supposed to isolate yourself. If there is any reason to take your sample, it means that you are potentially positive, so until you get your results, please try as much as possible to self-isolate,” he cautioned.
At the same briefing, the GHS said it has embarked on an expansion of COVID-19 treatment centres across the country.
This, according to Dr. Kuma-Aboagye, is to make available more beds and logistics for COVID-19 case management.
“For the isolation centres in Greater Accra, we have Pentecost Convention Centre and Prampram. Pentecost has a capacity of 600. Currently, we have 207 cases there and so we have space for about 393 people. Prampram Isolation Centre has nobody there now. It is today that we’ll be moving people there so the 160 beds are still empty as far as isolation spaces are concerned. Ga East has a capacity of 85 beds,”
Dr. Kuma-Aboagye said.