To improve its testing capacity and ensure efficiency, government has procured more laboratory supplies for the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) Institute for PCR testing.
Head of Virology, Professor William Ampofo says some of the supplies have been delivered for onward distribution as part of a bulk procurement scheme.
“We have come up with a bulk procurement scheme to provide sufficient resources to go up to 300,000 per test. This scheme was developed in conjunction with the Ghana Health Service and the Ministry of Health with support from the Ministry of Finance and we were strategic enough to go direct to the source, to China where most of the laboratory equipment and supplies could be competitively sourced.”
“So the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through its Ambassador in China has worked on behalf of the people of Ghana to source this equipment at a very competitive price so we can purchase it in bulk. So, I am glad to report that the first shipment arrived on Saturday, on the flight that brought back the returnees. So, we indeed got a significant quantity of lab supplies on Saturday and another flight will arrive today.”
Professor Ampofo also indicated that the centre will soon roll out Mobile Testing for COVID-19 and other private facilities will be accredited to start testing.
“We have also come up with a plan for mobile testing in Ghana and I am glad to report that the GRA and the Customs Excise Division have put this into operation. We have done some training and the equipment have also arrived so strategically; this will be deployed when necessary. To go alongside this, it is also to provide support for patient management at the treatment centres. There is also a plan to establish labs with the capacity to test for COVID at the UGMC and at the new 100-bed facility that has been constructed at the Ga East hospital.”
Meanwhile, the NMIMR has disclosed it is conducting a research study to identify if the persons who are discharged under the new COVID-19 discharge protocols are able to develop antibodies against COVID-19.
According to Professor William Ampofo, the research which is being supervised by the Ghana Health Service and the Ministry of Health said the research is showing “some interesting results”.
He disclosed this on Thursday, July 9, 2020, at a press conference organised by the Ministry of Information.