The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) has embarked on an exercise aimed at ensuring the proper calibration of medical devices and instruments used in hospitals, clinics and health centres.
During the exercise, which was targetted at private laboratories and some hospitals in the Northern, North-East and Savannah Regions, it was observed that a host of facilities had failed to calibrate basic medical equipment which were being used in their laboratories; therefore exposing patients who patronise them to a number of health risks.
The non-calibration of clinical equipment makes it difficult to provide accurate results from diagnoses, leading to wrong administration and treatment – which further endangers already-ill persons.
Of all the listed health facilities sited in the regions, only a total of 11 private laboratories and two hospitals had their equipment properly calibrated; meanwhile, others are yet to be captured under the programme to ensure they use the right, certified verification equipment by GSA to provide efficient healthcare delivery services.
With the first exercise’s success, the Authority intends to intensify its educational drive in other regions to create more awareness.
The exercise was conducted in pursuance of the GSA’s mandate under the Standards Authority Act, 1973(NRCD173), and as custodian of the Weights and Measures Act 1975 (NRCD326).
Some of the laboratories and hospitals which had their devices already calibrated were Mau Plus Lab Services; Jags Lab and Clinic; King’s Diagnostic Centre; West Gonja Catholic Health Services; Baptist Medical Service; Presbyterian Health Services; and Standard Medical Lab Services. The rest were Global Medical Services; Bill Clinical Laboratory; Obarsi Lab; Masusu Lab; K4 Health Consult and Diagnostics, as well as K.K. Clinical Lab.
The Northern Regional Manager for the GSA, James Wanaba, in an interview with the B&FT at his office in Tamale noted that because many of the laboratories were not registered with the Ghana Health Service, it wasdifficult for the Authority to track the various facilities’ location. He added that efforts are being made to liaise with the Health Directorate to ensure all medical facilities are registered and all equipment verified by the GSA.
He disclosed that about 143 pieces of medical equipment were verified during the exercise. Mr. Wanaba also urged those operators which have not had their facility’s equipment calibrated to do so before the Authority clamps down on them.
Mr. Wanaba said calibration of medical equipment reposes confidence in the results of measurements by the equipment, and urged all health facilities to get their medical equipment calibrated to ensure quality health care delivery in the region.
He gave the assurance that other health centres in the Northern, Savannah and North-East Regions will be supervised to ensure their medical equipment meet the standard for improving healthcare delivery to persons in the region.