The Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists (AMLS) has called on the Ministry of Health and Ghana Health Service to ensure that the right investments are made in the health sector to enable the country stand tall and overcome unforeseen health challenges.
The Association made the call as Ghana joins the world to mark the International Federation Biomedical Laboratory Science (IFBLS) day, on Friday, April 15.
This year’s celebration is under the theme, “Testing Times; Biomedical Laboratory Scientists’ Role in the Covid -19 Pandemic.”
“We call on Government to increase the investment in medical laboratory science, and the health sector in general,” they stressed.The concern has been raised following the adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Health sector.
In a statement, the Association noted that “the Covid-19 pandemic has opened the door for medical laboratory science by way of introducing additional molecular diagnostics techniques to most laboratories in our country.”
They, therefore, have called on the relevant stakeholders including institutional and medical laboratory managers to ensure that these additions to the laboratory system are sustained.
Ghana like other countries witnessed a devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Health facilities were choked as a result, healthcare workers were overwhelmed with work and some even contracted the disease and died.
The country had to rely on international communities for vaccines to deal with the pandemic.
In view of this, the Association has highlighted the need to develop a local scientific solution for infectious disease management.
“The challenges of developing countries in the vaccine market tell us that we cannot continue to depend on the western countries for our survival. While the vaccine development initiative in Ghana remains a substantive move in this regard, there remains the need for more innovative ideas toward health and scientific exploits in Africa.
Though they lauded the National Vaccine Institute initiative, which they stated remains a remarkable breakthrough to hit our part of the continent since it is an avenue to partly showcase the scientific research skills and abilities of the medical laboratory professional, the Association also entreated the relevant authorities to engage more medical laboratory scientists in this initiative.
AMLS also stressed the need for investments in human resources in the health sector.
They contended that since human resources with specialist skills have become imperative throughout the world, it is very essential that government supports the training of the right skill mix for the health sector.
“There is thus an urgent need for the establishment of a Ghana College of Medical Laboratory Science for specialists training of medical laboratory science professionals to give legal and financing framework in support of the work initiated by the West African Postgraduate College of Medical Laboratory Science (WAPCMLS) in Ghana,” they stated.
While highlighting the relevance of Medical Laboratories in the country, the Association stressed that Medical Laboratory Scientists will continue to play important role in future pandemics, including but not limited to accurate and timely diagnosis, research advancements, and safeguarding public health.The International Biomedical Laboratory Science (IFBLS) day is marked annually on April 15, to increase the awareness of the vital role of Medical Laboratory Scientists in providing quality healthcare – in diagnosis, quality assurance, treatment, research, and other developments in the modern era of medical science.