The Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists (GAMLS) has allayed the public’s fears over a report of sale of donated blood to ritualists, popularly known as Sakawa boys.

On Tuesday April 11, reported that a senior laboratory assistant at Abura Dunkwa District Hospital in the Central Region had been arrested for allegedly trading blood to Sakawa boys.

Reacting to this news, the Public Relations Officer of the GAMLS, Dennis Adu-Gyasi, in a statement noted that the alleged act was “disgusting and regrettable”.

The statement said: “The alleged act, as reported, is disgusting and regrettable, and we hereby condemn it in no uncertain terms. Our preliminary checks on the said Stephen Q. Nyan indicates that the suspect was initially employed as an orderly (cleaner) at the Cape Coast Regional Hospital and was further trained on the bench and appointed under the Ghana Health Service as Medical Laboratory Assistant at the Abura Dunkwa Hospital. He is not licensed to practice as such.

“The hospital in the subject matter trained him to manage the facility’s mortuary. In 2012, the hospital’s management assigned Stephen Q. Nyan to the laboratory and relieved him of his duties at the mortuary as manager. This decision by the hospital management…was strongly protested by the qualified medical laboratory scientists in charge of the laboratory at the time, on grounds of his limited training on the bench and with respect to his scope of assigned duty. His professional advice was simply disregarded by the management.

“As a professional body, we are deeply concerned about the arbitrary appointment of unqualified persons by managers of health facilities and the government agencies to perform duties that are designated for qualified and licensed medical laboratory practitioners, a practice which offends the laws of Ghana as enshrined in Act 857 (2013).

“We remain concerned about the increasing reports from our membership across the country of subtle attempts by some authorities or management of health facilities to place unqualified persons including nurses, pharmacists, physicians, phlebotomists, and others with general science background to work in clinical laboratories.

“In the light of the law regulating the practice of medical laboratory science in Ghana, such acts are not only irregular but pose great danger to the precious lives of Ghanaians. They simply lack the requisite training, skill, and ethical commitment and legal cover required to practice the profession of medical laboratory science.”