The Navrongo Reference Laboratory in the Upper East Region will soon be added to the centres carrying out tests for complex infectious diseases such as Coronavirus and Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM) in the country.
This, according to a Deputy Minister of Health, Dr. Bernard Okoe-Boye, is part of measures to get more testing centres in the country to ease the pressure on Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research and the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR).
The two have been the main laboratories testing samples from across the country for coronavirus since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country.
Addressing parliament, Dr. Okoe-Boye stated that “I am happy to say that apart from Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research in Accra and KCCR in Kumasi, the Akufo-Addo government has worked hard to ensure that within these few weeks, Korle-Bu public health reference laboratory and the UHAS laboratory in the Volta Region have been added to the centres for doing COVID-19 tests. Very soon, Navrongo Reference Laboratory and other facilities will be equipped to add on to our diagnostic capacities for CSM, COVID-19 and other disease conditions regarding modern sophisticated laboratories with the capacity to do Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests.”
This announcement comes after several calls by the Upper East Regional Health Directorate for a testing centre for the coronavirus at the Navrongo Research Centre in the Kassena-Nankana Municipality.
The Regional Director of Health Services, Dr. Winfred Ofosu earlier stated that “There will be another centre in Tamale for us but we are also pushing the Ministry of Health and the Presidential COVID-19 committee to establish a testing centre at the Navrongo Research centre because we have got the relevant equipment.”
He explained that government had asked the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR) to send engineers “to come and set it up and if that is done, in the next two weeks, we will not need to suffer to send specimens and get results in on time within 24 hours.”
The University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) Laboratory in Ho started testing COVID-19 samples after a similar upgrade earlier this week.