Some medical laboratories in Ghana have been identified to be abusing the ‘Widal Test’ procedures and methodologies in the diagnosis of typhoid fever.
The Ghana Association of Biomedical Laboratory Scientists (GABMLS), which raised the concern, will not name culpable facilities but says the practice is widespread.
The Widal test is a presumptive serological test for fever whereby bacteria causing typhoid fever are mixed with serum containing specific antibodies obtained from an infected individual.
Chairman of the Ashanti GABMLS, Thomas Gyampomah, told Luv News understanding the principles of the test is predominantly technical, hence the abuse.
“In most laboratories, people are not doing the right test, people are not doing the right reporting and interpretation and it sends a wrong signal of typhoid in the system”, he observed.
He noted that the Association is engaging members to get the diagnosis right to promote quality health delivery.
The Biomedical Lab Scientists held their regional congress in Kumasi on the theme: ‘Upholding Ethical Standards and Promoting Quality Medical Laboratory Practice in Ghana’.
Issue of standardization of procedure and reporting of the Widal Test and its results interpretation formed part of the scientific conference.
Ashanti Regional Minister, Eric Opoku described quackery in medical laboratory practice as the “galamsey” of the health system.
“These quacks don’t only exploit and siphon the limited incomes of innocent citizens but even more seriously, produce inaccurate results that ultimately lead to misdiagnosis and other negative occurrences”, he said.
The Minister urged the leadership of the GABMLS to be proactive in putting in place measures to flush out unqualified medical laboratory practitioners.
President of the Association, Prince Sodoke Amuzu, announced that the practice of Medical Laboratory Science is now regulated by law in Ghana, emphasizing that “a practitioner shall be required to have a license to practice regardless of the person’s height of academic, business, economic or political influence”.
He pledged the Association’s resolve to assist government and the security services to ‘flush out’ all the quacks.