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General News of Sunday, 30 May 2021

Source: GNA

UGMC gets Molecular Laboratory

University of Ghana Medical Centre University of Ghana Medical Centre

A new ultra-modern Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory at the University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC), financed by the Bank of Ghana, has been commissioned in Accra.

The facility was jointly commissioned by officials of the Bank of Ghana and the Medical School.

A Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory is a facility for the development and performance of molecular diagnostic tests for nucleic acid targets found in a variety of settings in medicine.

The three broad areas of testing are; genetics, hematopathology, and infectious diseases.

Dr Ernest Addison, the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, said the commissioning and operationalisation of the UGMC Molecular Laboratory was a manifestation of the tireless effort and commitment of the leadership of the UGMC to position the Medical Centre on a strategic path to provide the health and biomedical needs of Ghana in particular, and sub-Saharan Africa in general.

He recalled that in July 2020 the Bank received a request from the Management of the UGMC for the establishment of a Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory.

The request was premised on the urgent need to establish a Molecular Laboratory to prioritise COVID-19 testing and facilitate a testing turnaround time of six to 12 hours.

THE Laboratory would also diagnose other medical conditions such as HIV, tuberculosis, hepatitis and sexually transmitted diseases.

The Governor said subsequently, the Board of Directors of the Bank considered the UGMC’s request and granted approval to support the establishment of the Lab.

He said taking cognisance of the important role that the Lab would play in healthcare needs and the exigencies that came with the testing and treatment of COVID-19 patients, the Bank of Ghana provided the required assistance to UGMC as part of its corporate social responsibilities (CSR).

He said during the implementation and operationalisation of the project, the UGMC abided by all the terms and conditions of the Bank, under its CSR.

Dr Addison commended the Board of Directors, the Chief Executive Officer and the Management of the UGMC for the achievement.

“It is Bank of Ghana’s expectation that the Molecular Laboratory will complement the efforts of other health facilities within this Medical Centre in providing timely and responsive healthcare to patients,” the Governor said.

“We are gratified that the expert professionals and a gene expert, virologists and other specialists available at the UGMC, will ensure that this new Molecular Laboratory will remain a critical part of the diagnosis management and treatment of cases presented at the UGMC from the public.”

Dr Asamoa-Baah, Chairman, Board of Directors, UGMC, paid tribute to those who envisaged the establishment of the UGMC; adding that COVID-19 had come to prove that the establishment of the Centre was not a luxury.

He said COVID had highlighted that investing in healthcare was good for the economy of the nation.

He expressed gratitude to the Bank for establishing the Lab at the UGMC.

Dr Osei said the Centre was established in 2016 but operationalisation began in July 2018, and that as at now, the facility had 775 staff.

He said the operationalisation was still ongoing and that hopefully by the middle of this year it would come to completion.

Dr George Kyei, Director, Medical and Scientific Research Centre, said the Laboratory had the capacity not only to test for COVID-19 but also to test for a variety of conditions, including HIV/AIDs, hepatitis B, tuberculosis and sexually transmitted diseases.

He said it had experts to manage the facility to meet international standards.