Reported By: Solomon Kwashie
Medical laboratory professionals all over the country are meeting on 13th October, 2020 to 17th October, 2020 at Akroma Plaza Hotel in Takoradi, in the Western Region of Ghana. This forms part of their yearly arrangement to meet and discuss issues relating to the profession and also elect national executive officers to lead them for the next two years.
The congress of the Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists is on the theme ” Building a Self-reliant Healthcare Industry; lessons from Covid-19 era under the Chairmanship of Nana Kobina Nketsia V, Paramount Chief of Essikado Traditional Area. Other guests for the congress include the Western Regional Minister, Hon. Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah and the Deputy Minister of Health, Hon. Bernard Okoe Boye (MP). Other speakers include Prof. Nafiu Amidu, the Registrar of the West African Postgraduate College of Medical Laboratory Science(WAPCMLS), Dr. Okara, Registrar of WAPCMLS, Dr. Laud Anthony Basing, the CEO of Incas Ltd and other renowned scientists.
The president of the professional body, Dr. Ignatius Awinibuno in a short interview ahead of the conference mentioned that the congress affords medical laboratory professionals in Ghana the opportunity to share ideas on the lessons and challenges members faced and continue to face working in the current healthcare system in Ghana. He again noted that the theme of the congress is to highlight the opportunities available for medical laboratory professionals and the entire health sector following the “The Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda” as promoted by the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
He further stated that this year’s congress also affords members an opportunity to elect new leaders as stipulated by their constitution. He urged members of the professional body to elect leaders who will continue to promote and defend the practice of medical laboratory science in the country.
Dr. Awinibuno further stated that the government has listened to some of the calls to resolve challenges facing the medical laboratory practice in the country but stated that he would have been happier to have left office with the joy of government implementing the National Health Laboratory policies gathering dust on the shelves of the Ministry of Health. According to him, they cannot wait to have a self sufficient and sustaining medical laboratory sector without commitment from government.
He further stated that the calls for the drawing and implementation of specific policies for the medical laboratory sector was promoted by representatives of government and donor partners in 2008 at Maputo,Mozambique. He revealed that the famous Maputo Declaration was to start the Medical Laboratory Beyond Aid agenda to prepare medical laboratory profession and its professionals for the future health challenges including the current Covid-19 pandemic.
Some members contacted expressed their delight about this year’s Congress as they are eager to share ideas on the lessons from the first major pandemic most of them have ever witnessed. Members also are eager to celebrate some of the success chalked by the profession over the past two years of the Awinibuno leadership and listening to the future plans the yet to be elected executives have for the members. Also, they are hoping to have the opportunity to meet officials of the WAPCMLS and the newly formed Medical Laboratory Professionals Workers Union (MELPWU) to understand the benefits available with the two organisations.
Our outfit will follow the proceedings as these professionals meet and will report to the public the outcome of the congress. We wish all contestants for the national executive positions well.