The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) has revealed that less than 10 medical laboratories out of over 2000 in the country have obtained the International Standard Organisation (ISO) certification.

Ghana adopted the ISO 15189 code in 2017 to ensure that laboratories in the country operate under internationally approved standards. 

But after close to four years of regularisation exercises, less than ten of the labs in the country have obtained the certification. 

This was made revealed by the Director-General of the GSA, Prof Alex Dodoo who spoke on the sidelines of the 2021 Celebrate Lab West Africa Conference in Accra.

“Currently, very few labs have been accredited to that level, which means they are in the process but they are not there yet. Practice is variable and till you have them all accredited, you’re going to get different results from different labs,” he disclosed.

He further stated, “since the doctor will make his decision [based] on the lab results, if you get it wrong, then everything is spoilt.”

On the exact number of labs that are accredited, Prof. Alex Dodoo said, “within the [Ghana] Standards Authority, we have not given it to anybody. For the private and public, I will be surprised if [they’re] up to 10. If Joy News goes around to check, you will find any.”

With the situation posing a threat of false diagnoses and treatment of medical conditions, the Ghana Standards Authority says it will begin cracking the whip on defaulting laboratories.

‘For us, we are concerned about enforcing standards. Very soon, when people visit the labs they will request ISO 15189 certificate. So we are going to enforce even if it means going to court, we will do it’, he added.

The International Organization of Standardisation is an international standard-setting body that facilitates the safe, reliable and high-quality creation of products and services. Among other things, the ISO standard 15189 provides specific requirements for quality and competence particular to clinical laboratories.