Ghana Health Service Rolls Out Project To Improve Quality Of COVID-19 Tests

COVID-19 safety protocols being observed at an Airport

As Ghana’s COVID-19 cases continue to see a spike in the last few weeks, the Ghana Health Service (GHS) is rolling out a project to ensure that laboratories carrying out testing for the virus produce accurate and quality results.

At an event to launch the project, Virologist at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, Prof. William Ampofo, said the labs would be supervised to ensure results they produce are incontestable.

National Laboratory Quality Assurance Project

The National Laboratory Quality Assurance Programme and Data Management for COVID-19, implemented by the Ghana Health Service with support from PharmAccess, is to cut out instances of false tests by some labs.

“Because we have a network of laboratories testing thousands of samples, it is important to have a quality assurance system, to check the reliability of the results and the accuracy of the tests that are being done by the different labs using sometimes different kits and machines, but all producing a result that the person has covid or not,” Professor Ampofo said.

The project will also ensure all the laboratories accredited to conduct the tests, do so strictly by the protocols and produce desired results.

Prof. Ampofo added that “all the labs in the network will receive a fully-characterized panel with results already known to the committee and the results from these labs will be matched against the original results.”

The committee will also visit the labs, to check if the right processes are being used for the testing.

“We would also administer a questionnaire to check if the staff is well-trained and if the processes being undertaken plus the data reporting processes are what they have to be.”

A set of fifteen laptops were handed over to the Ghana Health Service as part of the project to enhance data management and reporting.

So far, twenty-three laboratories have received accreditation to carry out COVID-19 tests, as fears grow that the relaxation in adherence to the safety protocols could trigger a spike in the numbers.

Ghana’s COVID-19 Stats

Ghana as of November 21, 2020, had carried out more than five hundred thousand tests. Out of the number, fifty thousand, seven hundred and seventeen (50, 717) cumulative positive cases had been recorded, with forty-nine thousand, two hundred and eighty-one (49,281) recoveries and discharges.

Total active case count stands at one thousand, one hundred and thirteen (1,146) with 323 deaths.

source: GHS

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