Authorities at the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research into Tropical Medicine (KCCR) want some of their testing equipment replaced.
The centre is one of the leading centres in testing samples for COVID-19 in Ghana.
According to the Director for the Centre, Prof. Richard Odame Philips, the rate at which test results are released, has been affected due to the obsolete nature of their equipment.
He spoke to Citi News after the Alumni of the University Hall of KNUST, Katanga, presented personal protective equipment worth GHS35,000 to KCCR and the KNUST hospital.
“There are multiple challenges. One of the challenges is the pressure from those who want the test to meet their expectation. Some expect to get their results within three hours while others expect it in the shot possible time and the huge stress is to meet that demand. So you ask yourself, are you able to do that for everyone? Some of our equipment has broken down because of the stress. So need new equipment to replace the old ones.”
More investment in research
Scientists at the KCCR have urged the government to take a cue from the global pandemic to adequately resource research institutions and build their capacities to adequately respond to similar situations in future.
With the increasing number of coronavirus infections in Ghana, there is pressure on the Centre to scale up its operations in ramping up tests.
Dr. Michael Owusu, a virologist at the KCCR recently called on the government to invest in research to enable them to understand the dynamics of other diseases.
“Research goes with funding, but in Ghana and some of the countries in the sub-Saharan region, we mostly depend on research funded by external bodies and due to that, most of the research is not driven by ideas which are needed to enhance local capacity and to solve local problems. If we had enough capacity in place, then we could have done more than we are doing and the COVID coming is a call for all of us to instead of sitting down to be overwhelmed by this pandemic, we should be investing into research that will enable us to understand the dynamics of diseases,” he urged.
KCCR is one of the two high-level research centres in Ghana leading efforts in the testing of COVID-19 samples.
Based in the Ashanti Region, it serves largely the central and northern part of the country.
Between February and April 8, 2020, KCCR had tested about 1,600 samples of suspected COVID-19 cases.
As of Saturday, July 4, 2020, 75,930 COVID-19 tests had been done by KCCR.
KCCR is a joint venture between the Ministry of Health (MoH), Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, and the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM), Hamburg, Germany. KCCR acts as an international platform for biomedical research in tropical medicine.