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LET THERE BE COLLABORATION AMONG HEALTH PROFESSIONALS.. DR G.C. OKARA
Adekoya Abimbola Julius
This year’s annual National Congress of Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists held in Takoradi, Western Region of Ghana on the 16th October 2020 was a day to remember in the minds of the participants.
At the event, Dr Godswill Chinkwe Okara, the Registrar/Secretary General of the West African Postgraduate College of Medical Laboratory Science and also a former National President of the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria delivered a paper titled “21st Century Healthcare Practice: Promoting Collaboration and Control”.
In his lecture, Dr Okara reminded the participants of the goal of an efficient and effective healthcare delivery system according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) “as a social obligation of the government to make quality healthcare services accessible and affordable to all members of the society in a manner that is acceptable to them when they need the services”. He further posited that “it is the professional obligation of healthcare service providers to update and upgrade their knowledge and skill to ensure quality services are provided to the society”.
He emphasized that laboratory tests play an indispensable role in the early detection and accurate diagnosis of disease, monitoring of treatment, disease surveillance and prevention. The Registrar argued that since the tools of science and technology have revolutionized healthcare practice by introducing empirical evidence and removing hunches and guesses from the practice hence, for the members to remain relevant as professionals, they should imbibe the spirit of new technology and continuous professional education to constantly upgrade the standard of the practice. He encouraged the participants to read journals and other publications, attend workshops and conferences to remain current. He added that “Covid-19 Pandemic has again shown that the world is so interconnected now that no one is safe until everyone is safe”.
Dr Okara announced to the participants that ECOWAS Assembly of Health Ministers at its 21st Ordinary Session approved the proper placement and recognition of the West African Postgraduate College of Medical Laboratory Science in the West Africa region.
On the concept of collaboration, he explained that collaboration is a mutually beneficial and well-defined relationship entered into by two or more organizations to achieve common goals. He said this can be in specific areas like training and Services among the healthcare professionals. He encouraged the different professional groups – Physicians, Pathologists, Medical Laboratory Scientists, Nurses and Pharmacists to collaborate at all levels of training.
He concluded his presentation by explaining that the tools of biotechnology and molecular diagnostics have opened new possibilities in disease diagnosis, management and therapy.