The Navrongo Reference Laboratory in the Upper East Region is set to be upgraded to be able to test for complex infectious diseases such as COVID-19 and Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM), that’s according to the Deputy Minister of Health, Dr. Bernard Okoe Boye.
The new development forms part of measures to ease the burden on the two main laboratories for testing COVID-19 in the country, the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR) and Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research.
This would also improve the number of testing samples in the country as the virus continues to soar.
Dr. Okoe Boye, while addressing members of parliament said “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.”
Remarks from Regional Director of Health
The Upper East Regional Health Directorate has been pushing for a testing centre for the novel coronavirus at the Navrongo Research Centre in the Kassena-Nankana Municipality to facilitate the duration at which test results from the region are received.
Commenting on the new development from the Health Ministry, the Regional Director of Health Services, Dr. Winfred Ofosu said, “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.”
“They have agreed and have actually asked the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR) to send their 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,” he noted.
Earlier this week, The University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) Laboratory in Ho started testing COVID-19 samples after the facility was upgraded.
Coronavirus Case count in Ghana
The current case count now stands at 2,169 after 95 new cases were confirmed today.
The update from the Ghana Health Service also indicated one new death and 17 more recoveries.
The number of recoveries now stands at 229 with 18 deaths.