The DNA Centre at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital has resumed DNA tests and the delivery of test results after a one-year lull resulting from the lack of reagents to analyse blood samples.
A medical consultant at the centre, Dr Bartholomew Dzudzor, told the Graphic that tests resumed on February 1, 2012, after the procurement of adequate quantities of reagents and added that the first test results after the resumption would be released to the courts Thursday.
He said from now on, the centre would release test results every week.
Dr Dzudzor added that plans had been put in place to ensure that shortages never occurred again.
He said although the problem of reagents had been surmounted, the centre faced problems of power fluctuations which appeared to be emanating from the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital itself and to deal with that, a plan had been drawn to procure a generator to wean the centre off the electricity system at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.
He explained that the centre needed reliable power to analyse the samples taken from clients hence the move to acquire a more reliable source of power.
Asked if the samples taken from clients and stored for almost one year could still be analysed and if the results arrived at from those samples could still be considered as a true representation of their DNA, Dr Dzudzor replied in the affirmative.
“Our DNA samples are stored at a temperature of 80 degrees celsius. The storage will not effect the outcome of the results in any way,” he said.
“Whatever results we get, we re-run the test to ensure that we arrive at the same results and whatever result we give out can be proven with the person’s DNA profile,” he added.
The centre failed to release test results to clients last year, almost one year after some of the samples had been taken.
The problem caused disquiet among some clients who had been ordered by the courts to take the tests to determine the paternity of some children.
Due to the delay in the release of results, many cases pertaining to the paternity of children could not be determined at the courts.
DNA is used to determine a person’s lineage, paternity or sex and/or infidelity.
Samples such as saliva, blood and hair can be used to conduct the test.
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