Dr Abu Abudu Rahamani — President of GAMLS
The Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists (GAMLS) has appealed to the government to, as a matter of urgency, establish a fund for public health emergency preparedness to deal with unexpected pandemics.
The group said the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic had made it a critical necessity to establish the fund, “considering the devastating effect it had on healthcare delivery”.
“We don’t want another pandemic to come and take us unaware, leaving us to run helter-skelter seeking for funds,” the President of the association, Dr Abu Abudu Rahamani, said at the 2022 Annual National Congress of the GAMLS at Fumesua in the Ashanti Region last Friday.
The congress was dubbed: “Capacity enhancement of medical laboratory practice in Ghana — Cornerstone of future pandemic response”.
The congress is the highest profile event on the association’s calendar and offers medical laboratory practitioners and other members in the health research industry and academia the opportunity to deliberate on the congress theme.
“The current Covid-19 Trust Fund and the Covid-19 levy should be the basis for this fund,” Dr Rahamani added.
Members of the association were among the critical workforce during the COVID-19 outbreak when majority of the people had to stay at home to avoid the spread of the novel virus.
The congress was attended by the Otumfuo’s Mawerehene, Baffour Hyiaman Brentuo VI, who chaired the event on behalf of the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II; the CDC Ghana Country Director, Dr Tony Ao, and the Ashanti Regional Health Director, Emmanuel Tinkorang.
The Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei-Mensah, threw his weight behind the call for the establishment of the fund, saying the recent outbreak of the Monkey pox and the Marburg diseases was a clear indication that the capacity of medical laboratory professionals needed to be strengthened for the good of the nation.
“Medical laboratory scientists are the backbone of our medical and healthcare delivery,” he stressed.