The Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists (GAMLS) has commended the Government for the innovative decisions that stimulated the local capacity of industries to produce relevant materials and supplies in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This initiative must be consciously and aggressively scaled up to embrace other sub sectors in healthcare delivery, especially the laboratory industry among others, which has the potential to create an industrial boom and further assure better health care security,” it said.
Dr Ignatius Awinibuno, the President of the GAMLS, said this during the opening ceremony of the Association Annual National Congress in Takoradi.
The Congress, captioned; “Building a Self-Reliant Health care Industry: Lessons from COVID-19 Era” placed a clarion call on the nation to pay greater attention to health care delivery as a crucial backbone to development.
Dr Awinibuno said the COVID-19 season presented an opportunity for the country to appraise itself on readiness in fighting any future pandemics.
He said though natural factors may have contributed, in addition to the timely national health care interventions, to spare the country of high mortality, much needed to be done in averting such pandemics and their effects.
“The COVID-19, therefore serves as a natural simulation or rehearsal of future reality with the benefits of hindsight experience… however, we must act locally in national interest first, this thinking must drive the acceleration of Ghana’s development agenda”, Dr Awinibuno said.
He said government must implement urgent health care reforms to accelerate efforts at achieving self-reliance through the injection of more capital, development of human capital, adequate healthcare facilities, research, expansion of local manufacturing companies, and adoption of responsive policies and regulations that addressed local needs and met global standards.
Dr Awinibuno noted that the establishment of Medical Laboratory Science Council and the Postgraduate College, coupled with the implementation of national laboratory policy documents were some fundamental inputs, which could not be ignored to propel Ghana towards self-reliance in health care delivery.
He said the Association was pleased with government for clearing 3,456 allied health professionals, the establishment of the infectious disease centre and the directive to build 111 health facilities across the country.
Dr Bernard Okoe Boye, a Deputy Minister of Health, praised the Association for the fortitude and commitment to duty that helped in the low figures of infection with regards to the COVID -19 pandemic.
He said government would continue to invest in human capital, infrastructure and defence systems to ensure a brighter future.
The Western Regional Minister, Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, encouraged the Medical Laboratory Scientists to continue to serve the country diligently as the government strived to improve upon health delivery.
The government would work on the vision to revamp the health sector to help in unexpected cases since charity had always began at home… COVID-19 had revealed the need to help ourselves more than ever”.
Mr Ato Van-Ess, who represented the Omanhene of Essikado, Nana Kobina Nketsia V, said health care interventions, such as the supply of drones, ambulance and building of infrastructure, were critical moves to improve the sector.