Government has directed that the Navrongo Reference Laboratory in the Upper East Region be upgraded in a bid to enhance its capacity to test samples of Coronavirus.
This decision by the government will also enhance the entire nation’s testing capacity of the country as the northern part of the country will get a testing centre.
The COVID-19 testing centres in Ghana are concentrated in the southern part with the major facilities, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research and Kumasi Center for Collaborative Research located in Accra and Kumasi respectively.
To enhance the nation’s response in terms of testing, the government over the last few weeks have ensured the upgrade of the Korle Bu Family Health Reference Laboratory and the University of Health and Allied Sciences’ laboratory to support the COVID-19 fight.
Following this, a directive has been given by the Ministry of Health for the Navrongo Reference Laboratory to also be upgraded to improve testing in the northern part of the country.
Confirming the news in parliament on Thursday, April 30, 2020, the Deputy Minister for Health Dr. Bernard Oko Boye announced to the house that approval has been given for the Navrongo facility to be equipped with diagnostic capacities in order for the lab to be able to test not only COVID-19 but other diseases and conditions.
“I am happy to say that, apart from the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research in Accra and KCCR in Kumasi, The Akufo-Addo government has gone round to ensure that within these few weeks, Korle Family Health Reference Laboratory and the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) laboratory in the Volta Region have been added to the centres for COVID-19 test as we speak,” Dr Bernard Oko Boye announced on the floor of parliament.
He further revealed that, “very soon, Navrongo Reference Laboratory and other facilities will be equipped to add on to our diagnostic capacities for both CSM, COVID-19 and other disease conditions requiring modern sophisticated laboratory with the capacity to do Polymerase chain reaction test (PCR).