As part of measures to decentralise the testing for Coronavirus and ease pressure on the existing two research centers in Accra and Kumasi, government is on the verge of completing an upgrade of the Health Research Center in Kintampo.
The Health Research Center, which currently conducts researches into other diseases and tests for CSM, is being equipped with the necessary tools and resources, like personnel, test kits and protective gear, to build its capacity to handle cases in northern part of the country.
Speaking to an Adom FM reporter on progress of the work so far, Dr Kweku Poku Asante, Director at the Research Center in Kintampo, Bono East Region assured that the center has already received essential materials to commence testing for Coronavirus.
He, however, admitted that there are some outstanding inputs that government is assiduously working to provide them within the shortest possible time to enable them to begin in earnest to handle cases in northern part of the country.
“Our lab is well-positioned to conduct tests for Coronavirus or COVID-19 that has infected some persons in the country. We received assurances from health authorities that our facility will be upgraded and that is currently happening. In the course of last week, I had a meeting with the Regional Health Director, Dr Adomako, and he disclosed that the facility is being prepared to handle cases of persons within northern Ghana. Recently, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service also iterated the desire to decentralise and so we are being adequately prepared” he explained in an interview monitored by ABC News.
The Deputy Chief Biomedical Scientist at the facility, David Osor, indicated that the research center was rated 4 stars in terms of how adequately prepared they were to conduct such tests.
He is confident that government will deliver the remaining resources to make them better placed to deal with the cases.
“Out of a maximum of 5 stars, our laboratory got 4 stars. This lab also supports CSM testing. When samples are taken from people in northern Ghana, it is brought here. At the moment we have the staff and quality systems in place” he disclosed.
Noguchi Medical Research Institute in Accra and Kumasi Center for Collaborative Research are the two institutions the country relies on to conduct tests for Coronavirus.
However, with the growing number of cases, the facilities are likely to be overwhelmed, therefore, government has initiated the move to add a third facility to cater for northern Ghana, which is yet to record a case.
Ghana has confirmed 54 cases with 2 deaths, whiles testing is still ongoing into samples of about 600 suspected cases in Accra and Kumasi.