The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has opened a mini-laboratory at the Tema Fishing Harbour to fast-track testing of imported food products and drugs through the Tema Port.
The lab is equipped with microbiology analysis equipment which includes, a Hatch incubator, weighing balance, PCR device, stomacher 400 circulator, centrifuge, vurtex mixer and a dry bath.
The lab, which is the first seaport laboratory in Ghana, also had the necessary equipment for drug testing.
The FDA, with the opening of the lab, would be able to test and release results latest by 48 hours.
Mrs Delese Darko, Cheif Executive Officer of the FDA, in a welcoming address, said the lab would be manned by competent technical officers who would do random testing of sampled regulated products to ascertain their quality and safety before they are allowed onto the Ghanaian market.
Products of suspicious nature are also expected to be tested at the facility to ensure quality and safety.
Mrs Darko added that the purpose of the lab was to facilitate trade at the Tema Port by fast-tracking clearing of products as well as bridge the gap in the regulation quality testing, as according to her, it would be using quick test methods.
She said it would adopt the standards of the FDA's Quality Control Laboratory which had the highest scope of accreditation to ISO of 17025 (2015) on the African continent to achieve the best results for the public good.
The CEO further noted that the mandate of the FDA which is one of the three agencies permitted to do joint inspections at the Port under the paperless clearance system necessitated the establishment of the minilab.
Ms Tina Mensah, Deputy Minister of Health, delivering the keynote address, commended the FDA for the initiative and urged them not to turn the lab into a white elephant but rather make it efficient to achieve its purpose.
Ms Mensah reminded staff of the FDA that they must not shirk their responsibilities as everyone in Ghana made use of a product they certified daily, therefore, they must work hard to protect the health of the people.
She gave the assurance that government was prepared to fully equip the FDA to efficiently and effectively discharge their mandate.
There were solidarity messages from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana and the Ghana Institute of Frieght Forwarders.