The Director General of the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) Dr. Mosoka Fallah, is suggesting establishment of two regional testing labs at Phebe Hospital in Bong County and Fish Town, Rivergee County, respectively to help ramp up the Country’s testing capacity and put health authorities in a better position to contain the spread of the virus.
He made the call in the wake of ongoing assessment tour of six counties here. NPHIL and the Ministry of Health (MoH) are conducting series of assessments on the preparedness and response strategies of County Health Teams (CHTs) against the coronavirus. Dr. Mosoka Fallah and Liberia’s Health Minister Dr. Wilehmina Jallah, who also heads the country’s Incident Management System, are touring Bong, Nimba, Margibi, Grand Bassa, Bomi and Grand Cape Mount Counties to asses health situations in those areas.
The team first headed to Bong and Nimba Counties recently and assessed response strategies and Precautionary Observation Centers in the two counties. Bong County is one of five Counties including Bomi, Grand Cape Mount, Grand Gedeh and Rivergee that have not recorded cases of the virus. Nimba County has recorded seven cases and four deaths.
Accordingly, Dr. Fallah said the establishment of the two regional labs is necessary to speedily run tests of infectious diseases like Covid-19.“In terms of preparedness, we want to know about the lab. One of the things we’re trying to push for is to have decentralizing labs because the structures are already set for molecular testing,” noted the NPHIL boss.He vowed the Institute’s commitment to train nurses and help with the running of Covid-19 tests on an accurate and timely basis.
At the Nimba County IMS meeting, Dr. Fallah also promised to ensure training of two Genexperts to conduct lab tests. Genexpert test is a molecular test for TB. Expert diagnoses TB by detecting the presence of TB bacteria, as well as testing for resistance to the drug Rifampicin. –Editing by Jonathan Browne