The Tamale Public Health Reference Laboratory is set to commence testing coronavirus samples which will be collected in the Northern Region, its Regional Health Directorate has announced.
All necessary equipment for operations to begin are ready in the laboratory.
The lab has the capacity to conduct over 200 sample tests a day.
With this development, COVID-19 samples collected in the Region and its immediate environs would not have to be transported to the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research for testing.
According to the Northern Regional Health Directorate, this would reduce the financial burden on them as a result of transporting samples to the Ashanti Region for testing.
They add this will also provide real-time results for tested samples.
“This comes as very good news for us because since this thing started we have been sending samples to KCCR in Kumasi which comes with its all challenges in terms of the financial aspect and the efforts that we put in place. If we are actually going to start that burden when it comes to the financial aspect and the effort that we put in place will be reduced to the barest minimum.
“When you look at the turn around time of the time, you realize that the turn around the term is long so if we are able to start here I think it will bring the turn around time to the barest minimum. The machine potentially is able to run 96 samples sometimes when you send the samples because of the backlog, you realise the turn around time is long.”
Earlier this week, a laboratory in the University of Health and Allied Science, Ho, in the Volta Region, also begun testing COVID-19 samples in the region.
According to the Head of Biomedical Laboratory Scientists at the University, Dr. Kwabena Duedu, the lab has the capacity to test 75 COVID-19 samples daily.
Government to establish testing centres across all regions
Head of Virology at Noguchi, Prof. William Ampofo says that the country’s testing figure is high because of a polling method that is being used by the laboratories.
“When these samples arrive at the lab, we go through a process to enable us utilize the reagents in a very efficient manner. We simply poll the samples. What this means is, if you have 1,000 samples, you put them in polls of ten and therefore, you test them at a time. So in a short time, instead of testing 1,000 samples, you actually test 10,000 samples,” Prof. Ampofo explained
Story by: Jeffrey Nyabor | universnewsroom.com