A state-of-the-art laboratory in a newly designed purpose-built structure at the Korle Bu Hospital at Accra is the base for Ghana and West Africa’s first Center of Excellence for Health.
The project is the result of a public private partnership between Becton Dickinson (BD) and the Government of Ghana. According to Dr. Ricardo of the Ghanaian Health Ministry, the Center of Excellence will train health professionals in laboratory techniques to international standards and best practices. It will also provide professionals with first class technology and consumables required for testing and analyses.
Dr. Elias Sory, Ghana’s Director General of Public Health, officially opened. The Public Health Reference Laboratory on 8th April. He commended BD for their social responsibility and investing back into the community, stating that The Center would benefit the people of Ghana by providing them with the latest technology for medical progress. “It is the first step towards a Center for Disease Control”, Dr. Sory added.
The Public Health Reference Laboratory is expected to increase the quality of testing, diagnosis, and care, adding significantly to the capacity available for the delivery of services and the prevention of infectious diseases in Ghana. Dr Sory also expressed a need for more public private partnerships (PPPs) similar to that with BD across all sectors of services in Ghana. PPPs lessen the need for government to travel the world with begging bowls, he stated. Governments should find more friends like BD and strategize for this purpose to develop quality systems for a strong health service leading to a quality environment and society.
Detlef Siewert, BD’s Director, added that the Center is a milestone for the company in Africa and that it would allow training to take place at Accra for health professionals across West Africa, ending the need for people in the region to have to travel to South Africa for training. BD would also be opening their West Africa headquarters at Osu, a province of Accra, where four employees will be based including specialists in TB with multilingual capabilities.
“The Center would eventually bring more benefits to Ghana’s economy. In the next two to three years 12 employees are expected to be in place”, according to Mr. Siewert.
The laboratory is fitted out with the latest testing and diagnosis technologies, providing much-needed infrastructure for evidence-based analyses for public health and medical progress.