By Jerry Akornor 

West Africa Medical Laboratory Scientists are meeting in Accra this week for the 7th CelebrateLAB® West Africa Conference, the annual professional meeting for medical laboratory scientists, researchers, highlighting research and diagnostics across the West Africa region.

Ghana’s Minister of Health, Hon. Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, will be the Special Guest of Honour and will open the two-day meeting at the Swiss Spirit Alisa Hotel, North Ridge, Accra, on Wednesday, 21st April 

2021. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s event will be hybrid, with onsite and virtual participants from across the West Africa sub-region. It is under the theme: “Combating Emerging and Re-emerging Infections through Standardization of Laboratory Practice across West Africa”.

Dr. Talkmore Maruta, Senior Biosafety and Biosecurity Officer, Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, will deliver the keynote address. 

The Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, will give the welcome message and the World Health Organization Resident Representative for Ghana, Dr. Francis Kasolo, will chair the opening ceremony.

They will be joined by the Presidents of the Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists and the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria, Dr. Abu Rahamani and Prof. James Damen 

respectively, as well as Dr. Isatta M. Wurie, Senior Lecturer and Coordinator Laboratory Medicine, College of Medicine and Allied Health Science, University of Sierra Leone, and Dr. Adrian Oddoyo of Akia House Clinic, Ghana, for the opening plenary.

Apparently, the Conference brings together Medical Laboratory Scientists, Researchers, Clinicians, Regulators and Policy Makers to deliberate on issues of importance to clinical and research science in laboratory medicine in the sub region. Convened by the Liberian-based Africabio Enterprises Inc., the Accra Conference is being organized in collaboration with the Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists (GAMLS) and co-hosted by the Ghana Health Service and Akai House Clinic. 

In its 7th year, CelebrateLAB® remains the only West Africa-wide conference, held during International Lab Week, focused on Laboratory Systems Strengthening. 

The objectives of the annual meeting are to:

• Provide a venue for stakeholders across West Africa to access information of importance to Laboratory Systems Strengthening (LSS).

• Provide continuing education to medical laboratory professionals. 

• Network and share best practices across the West Africa region.

• Develop public-private partnerships to enhance the LSS environment.

• Strengthen labour-force for cross border trade in skills, knowledge, and experience.

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