60 medical laboratory assistants graduate
Monday, May 14, 2012
At least 60
medical laboratory assistants Saturday graduated after completing a one-year
Laboratory Assistant course supported by the Ministry of Health and Social
Welfare and its partners. The
graduation ceremony was held at the premises of the Central Medical Stores in
the event, Fatim Badjie, the minister of Health and Social Welfare, said that
laboratory services are prime to any meaningful health delivery, noting that
the graduation of the medical lab assistants will further strengthen the
laboratory services in terms of human, material and operational capacity.
to her, this has earned the Health Ministry the capacity to adequately plan and
competently respond to the health needs and challenges in the country. She
added that there is evidence of increase of accessibility and affordability to
timely and rapid diagnosis of infectious diseases like Malaria, HIV, TB and
other pathogenic diseases.
Minister Badjie stressed that the successful completion of the Laboratory Assistant Course is a significant achievement for the graduands and a beginning of development in their career. She thanked the Global Fund grant for supporting the training of laboratory personnel across the country.
Dr Makie Taal, the course coordinator, who is also the deputy permanent secretary for technical matters at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare disclosed that the main objective of the Ministry is to make health services accessible to all Gambians, adding that plans are underway to have laboratory services available in all the health facilities in the country. He pointed out that laboratories play pivotal and unique roles in diagnosis, training and research as applied in all disease programmes as well as in health protection and promotion.
Dr Taal urged the graduates to provide timely and accurate information for appropriate action for the management and fellow-up of patients, prevention, identification and control of disease outbreaks and other events of public health concerns. He said the main focus of the laboratory is on the raid isolation, identification and characterisation of aetiology agents of disease. He added that the implementation of quality clinical services, integrated disease surveillance and response strategy and the International Health Regulations require effective functional laboratory services.
Dr Taal also called on the graduands to uphold and maintain the dignity and respect of their profession and strive to maintain a reputation of honesty, integrity and reliability and contribute to the advancement of the profession by improving the body of knowledge, adopting scientific advances that benefit the patient, maintaining high standards of practice and continuous education and seeking fair socio-economic working conditions for members of the profession.
For her part, Adam Jagne-Sonko, the manager of the National Malaria Control Programme, said that they are proud to be associated with the event. She disclosed that 36 laboratories were refurbished recently through the support of the Global Fund, and thanked the Fund for the support.
Author: Momodou Faal