Find, Isolate, Test and Treat every case”- this according to Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director of the World Health Organization (WHO) is an effective method of containing and combating the spread of the novel coronavirus.
However, in Ghana, the challenge in the wake of COVID-19 is the deficit in laboratory or testing centers. Currently, the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) in the capital city and the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR) in the Ashanti region remains the only two testing centers in the country. Not only is speed a critical factor in this situation hampered but also the quantum of pressure that is mounted on the staff in this facility cannot be overlooked.
Considering the fact that these two facilities are located in the southern part of the country, there is an urgent need to consider the establishment of another well-resourced state of the art laboratory in the northern part of the country to complement the efforts of the aforementioned testing centers. Nonetheless, the economic and financial hard times coupled with the pandemic inhibits the genesis of a new lab.
The Department of Biotechnology of UDS presents itself as an already cemented foundation of which the next block could be laid to alleviate the challenges associated with putting up a new facility in this trying time. The Department has acquired two huge containers which could be turned easily into a Biosafety Level three (BSL-3) laboratory standardized for working on the infectious agent (coronavirus).
The Department through its internally generated funds and international collaborations, has acquired some of the equipment which placed them in a requisite position of working on detecting the novel coronavirus from animate and inanimate samples.
Below is the equipment that the Department has acquired;
RT qPCR Machine
High-Speed Refrigerated Centrifuge
Gel Documentation (UV Chamber and Camera)
Electrophoresis Set Up
Even though, not exhaustive enough, however, the Department has also got enthusiastic and highly qualified staff as well as technicians which could be leverage to run the facility smoothly without the need to employ several additional staff.
Paa Kwesy (Radio Grin 95.7FM, Nyankpala) +firstname.lastname@example.org