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New blood injected into laboratory services

May 15, 2012, 11:42 AM | Article By: Halimatou Ceesay

Sixty medical laboratory assistants successfully graduated from a Ministry of Health and Social Welfare training scheme last Saturday at a ceremony held at the Central Medical Stores in Kotu.

The scheme was facilitated by the Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital (RVTH) and the National Public Health Laboratories (NPHL).

The newly qualified graduates will provide a much-needed boost to the country’s laboratory services, which are an essential part of health service delivery in The Gambia.

In her statement at the ceremony, Hon. Fatim Badjie, Minister of Health and Social Welfare, said almost a decade ago in 2003, the ministry assessed and came out with the finding that laboratory services are prime to any meaningful health service delivery.

Noting that a boost was needed for the laboratory services in terms of human, material and operational capacity, Hon. Badjie said that the ministry started training laboratory personnel and other health professionals.

She noted that the successful completion of this laboratory assistant course is a significant achievement for the graduates and a beginning for their career development pathway.

She commended the graduates and course facilitators (staff of NPHL and RVTH) for making the day possible, which she added, is a symbol of dynamism, dedication, and enthusiasm on the parts of both course facilitators and graduates alike.

Health and Social Welfare minister assured the graduates of her ministry’s, President Jammeh’s and the government’s continuous support at all times, while urging them to contribute to a vibrant, viable and disciplined health delivery system countrywide.

In his keynote address, Dr Makie Taal, Deputy Permanent Secretary at the ministry of Health said the latest graduation of 60 laboratory assistants now puts the figure of trained medical laboratory assistants to 100 for the past three years.

Dr. Taal reminded the graduates of the ethics of the profession, duties to the patients, their colleagues and the profession as well as the society.

He also reminded them of the importance of maintaining confidentiality as well as ensuring safety, while also advicing them to be true to themselves and always believe in what they can do, their ability to make a difference and be the best in whatever they do.