The University of Health And Allied Sciences (UHAS) uses its Laboratory as a COVID-19 Testing Facility
In February 2020, University of Health and Allied Sciences took a leadership role in response to the COVID-19 pandemic by undertaking a series of actions that ensured that the University was adequately prepared as an institution for any occurrence.
These actions also increased the visibility of UHAS as a leading institution in the field of Public Health.
On 28 February 2020, the Vice Chancellor, Professor John Gyapong, in collaboration with the Acting CEO of Ho Teaching Hospital, Dr. John Tampuri, assembled a taskforce that drew up a preparedness and response strategy to address the pandemic in UHAS and HTH.
The taskforce, chaired by Prof. Harry Tagbor, Dean of the School of Medicine, was assigned with sensitising the public in and around the University and establishing clinical and diagnostic protocols for potential cases in Ho Municipality.
Four working groups were formed from the taskforce to tackle
(i) Clinical issues, led by Prof. Yaw A. Awuku, HoD Internal Medicine;
(ii) Laboratory issues, led by Dr. Kwabena O. Duedu, HoD Biomedical Sciences;
(iii) Educational campaign, led by Prof. Ernestina S. Donkor, Ag. Dean, SONAM and
(iv) Advocacy and Publicity, led by Mrs. Maria B. Gwira, Director of Public Affairs.
Various strategies were developed by these working groups, and have since been implemented. The Advocacy and Publicity subgroup launched a Public Awareness Campaign dubbed, “Say No to Coronavirus in Ho: Know how to protect yourself.”
Two members of the Laboratory subgroup from the School of Basic and Biomedical Sciences and School of Allied Health Sciences received additional training from the Virology Department, Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research on 3 March 2020 on the protocol and techniques used for diagnosing COVID-19 from clinical specimens.
The Laboratory subgroup has since been putting in structures to enable testing to be conducted in UHAS for health facilities in and around Ho Municipality.
In addition to the above efforts, UHAS, upon request from the Hohoe Regional Hospital, has made available the clinical trial facilities at its School of Public Health to be used to temporarily quarantine hospital staff who may have come in contact with the two COVID-19 positive patients being treated there.
Announcement on the Decision
The Government of Ghana has recognised these efforts by tasking the University with testing suspected samples to diagnose COVID-19.
During a surprise visit to Ho on Monday 30 March to assess the Regional Health Directorate of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and the Ho Teaching Hospital (HTH) on their preparedness to isolate and treat potential COVID-19 patients in the area, the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, hinted that UHAS would be supported to do COVID-19 testing.
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, in his 7th Address on COVID-19 on Sunday 12 April, named UHAS as one of the institutions to do testing for COVID-19.
See the documents below for the additional information