GSA | The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) in collaboration with the Partnership for Health Improvement (PHI) and the United States Center for Disease Control (CDC), has launched Medical Laboratories – Requirements for Quality and Competence manuals.
The two manuals dubbed: “Ghana Standards GS/ISO 15189: 2017” and “A Guideline for Implementation in Medical Laboratories in Ghana” would help implement quality standards in medical laboratories through the adoption of standards.
Professor Alex Dodoo, the Director-General, GSA, in his address at the launch in Accra said: “In modern medical care, the medical laboratory plays an essential role that cannot be overlooked.
“Medical doctors greatly rely on test results from the medical laboratories for the treatment of patients”.
He said quality medical care, therefore, depends on reliable results that give relevant clues to what doctors are expected to look out for before administering any medication or to the patient.
“This means that the performance of medical laboratories forms a crucial part of quality medical care,” he said.
The Director-General said test results from one laboratory, when compared with another, must not be different from each other but conform to the same results.
He said the purpose of GS/ISO 15189 was to ensure that laboratories in the country come up with the same credible results from samples submitted for analyses.
He noted that the GSA was working hard to ensure that the implementation of this adopted International Standard by all medical laboratories in Ghana was carried through in all parts of the country.
Prof Dodoo said the collaboration between the GSA and the PHI was meant for a good purpose; which would ensure the efficient and quality laboratory performance as well as quality healthcare.
“This is because, if all medical laboratories in Ghana are made to use this standard, the quality of laboratory tests will be greatly improved at all levels,” he stated.
He said the GS/ISO Standard 15189 was meant to assist medical laboratories not only to develop their quality management systems but also help them assess their own competence.
He explained that similarly, regulatory authorities, accreditation bodies and all those who patronize laboratory services could also use the standard to confirm the competence of such medical laboratories.
Prof Dodoo said there was no doubt that medical laboratory services were very essential to the care of patients; declaring that “for this reason, we need quality medical laboratory service to perform satisfactory work”.
He mentioned that these services include an arrangement for examination requests, preparation and identification of patients as well as the collection, transportation, storage and processing of samples.
He said the offer of quality laboratory services had become such a delicate matter that it requires carefulness, patience, accuracy, the competence of laboratory staff as well as reliability of results to be able to deal with the health issues as a stake so as to effectively apply the appropriate corrective measures for a cure.
Dr Samuel Duh, the Chief Executive Officer of PHI, said up to 80 per cent of all medical diagnosis decisions were dependent on laboratories tests.
He noted that there was, therefore, the urgent need to strengthen laboratory services and systems in Ghana.
He said the PHI was an indigenous Ghanaian organization dedicated to improving the health status of Ghanaians by working in partnership with the government, civil society, the private sector and the CDC.
Dr Chastity L. Walker, Global Health Security (GHS) Programme Director Ghana, said her organization together with the CDC and other development partners would continue to invest in Ghana’s laboratory strengthening efforts; declaring that “I am certain that Ghana will improve the quality of laboratory services”.
Mrs Beatrice van der Puije, the Programmes Manager, PHI, who gave an overview of the two manuals said the PHI had recently been focusing on strengthening laboratory systems for effective clinical diagnosis.
She said PHI was the only non-governmental organization in Ghana that was dedicated to and working in the area of laboratory strengthening.