The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), working in partnership with GIZ, has handed two mobile laboratory vans to the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR) toward scaling-up testing of potential COVID-19 patients – particularly in ‘harder to reach’ communities.
To support government’s commitment to stop and contain spread of the virus through enhanced testing of exposed persons, the GRA said it is making available two mobile laboratory vans as well as a team to man the operations, whereas the GIZ will provide logistical support. KCCR, on the other hand, will be in charge of the operations.
This latest development, according to Assistant Commissioner-GRA in charge of Customs Laboratory, Phyllis Sakyi-Djan, was reached through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed between the three organisations.
Speaking at the handing-over of one of the mobile laboratory vans to the KCCR on the forecourt of the facility in Kumasi, she noted that the world is facing one of the most difficult hazards in modern history.
She said in trying to deal with the situation, every country is pulling available resources together. It is thus as a contribution to Ghana’s capabilities to test for COVID-19 infections that this support has been made.
Mrs. Sakyi Djan was speaking on behalf of Col. Kojo Damoah (Rtd.), and said the GRA envisions that: “This joint effort will go a long way in enhancing Ghana’s collective character in combatting and bringing coronavirus infections under control in the country, and possibly ridding Ghana of the disease”. She also added that the second mobile laboratory van will soon be made available to KCCR.
The Scientific Director of KCCR, Prof. Richard Odame Phillips, taking delivery of the mobile laboratory van observed that the decision reached offers an opportunity to take laboratory services and testing closer to the doorstep of patients.
“With the mobile laboratory, we will be able to visit hotspots of the disease and people who have little access to diagnostic testing; this van will be able to reach them so that they don’t have to travel all the way to KCCR for such testing,” he stated.
He said the innovation is a significant contribution to the COVID-19 fight, and operations will immediately commence. He added that, already, there are some places mapped where testing is limited, and will therefore be prioritised as operations begin.
Prof. Odame Phillips said in terms of reporting, the normal lines of reporting will be maintained and continue the collaboration with Ghana Health Service (GHS) and the Ministry of Health (MoH) while keeping up with ongoing efforts.
While expressing his appreciation to the organisations involved in the initiative, GRA and GIZ, he also added that results from the work will soon be realised.