The Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists (GAMLS) has asked the government to use GeneXpert, a TB testing machine, which can be repurposed, to test for COVID-19.

GAMLS said it is available in a minimum of 100 clinical laboratories in Ghana.

The association said the cartridges for this platform can produce results for the novel coronavirus within 45 minutes.

The association, in the statement, asked: “Why is there silence on the use of the GeneXpert available in a minimum of 100 clinical laboratories in Ghana? What is holding the government from facilitating the procurement of reagents (cartridges) that could enable COVID-19 testing and produce results in 45 minutes using the GeneXpert equipment?”

The Association also questioned why the government had failed to heed its call of providing testing centres in other parts of the country, especially in the Bono, Bono Ahafo, Upper West and Upper East Regions.

“What is preventing the government from listening to the call of professionals to provide testing centres in other parts of the country, especially those in Bono, Bono East, Ahafo, Upper West and Upper East?”

It further reiterated calls for the implementation of the National Health Laboratory Policy to help boost healthcare infrastructure in the country.

“GAMLS reiterates the call for the implementation of the National Health Laboratory Policy (NHLP) and representation of Medical Laboratory Professionals at management level to contribute to the healthcare infrastructure investment and the building of the infectious disease control centres as promised by government.”

“We also call for the provision of required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for routine use and COVID-19 patient testing. As a matter of urgency, the government should get the qualified but unemployed professionals to come and support in the facilities,” portions of the statement added.

SOURCE: CLASS FM