The fight against Covid-19 is expected to receive a boost, as health officials in the Ashanti Region welcome real time data on the pandemic.
It follows the completion of a backlog of samples for testing at the Kumasi Center for Collaborative Research (KCCR).
Regional Health Director, Dr. Emmanuel Tinkorang, says the development addresses the absence of real-time data due to uncleared samples in the laboratories.
“What we realize is that because of the challenges we had the number of cases that were at the laboratories, we had a lot of backlogs at the laboratories and for that reason we were not getting the real time data.
“So now, with the support of the labs we’ve been able to clear a lot of backlogs as at now, Kumasi Center for Collaborative Research has worked so hard, they’ve been able to clear the backlog.”
He told a media at a press conference in Kumasi that health authorities will now be adequately equipped with the right information on the pandemic.
Until now, the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research(KCCR) has been the only bio-safety Level 3 laboratory for the northern sector.
Despite staff running 24-hour service, there was always backlog of cases to be cleared.
JoyNews checks at KCCR revealed at least, 8,000 samples which have been outstanding were cleared as at Wednesday, May 6, 2020.
Dr. Emmanuel Tinkorang says it is welcome news as authorities work to establish two more laboratories to support the Kumasi Center for Collaborative Research.
“For now I hope is that we get a real time data. Because if we don’t a real time data then the case management becomes very difficult. In the sense that maybe when you take a sample today and you don’t get the results as early as possible that person may infect so many people by time the results comes out as positive.
So now the focus is to get a real time data or real time information so as to know who to isolate and then who to discharge as far as you are suspect case.”
Despite the success chalked, health authorities have another hurdle to clear; that is, stigmatization.
They have had to rely on security agencies to protect contact tracers who have always come under attack.
“Anytime we are going to pick a case, there is always a fight and some of them do not understand [what we are doing] and they resort to social media to discredit what we are doing,” Dr. Tinkorang revealed.
Dr. Tinkorang wants all hands on deck, especially the media to help fight stigma.
“One thing that we will want you [media] to do for us is to address the issue of stigma and discrimination. People who go through the protocol and discharged, when they go home, they are usually faced with challenges.
“We are doing it in your interest; everybody is fighting together in this Covid-19 era.”