Stephen Enyan after his arrest
Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists (GAMLS) has condemned the alleged act of a laboratory technician assistant, Stephen Enyan, who sells blood of pregnant women who visit the Abura Dunkwa Hospital for antenatal checks, to some cyber fraudsters, popularly known as ‘sakawa’ boys, for ritual purposes.
“The attention of Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists (GAMLS) has been drawn to a publication on Monday, April 10. The alleged act as reported is disgusting and regrettable, and we, hereby, condemn it in no uncertain terms,” GAMLS said in a statement signed by its Public Relations Officer (PRO), Dennis Adu-Gyasi.
The suspect, according to reports, was said to have been hiding parts of the blood samples he takes from pregnant women who visit the hospital for antenatal checks, for the purpose of selling it for cash.
Reports indicate he purportedly sells little amount of the blood from GH¢5,000 to GH¢10,000. Reports monitored by Adom FM said the laboratory technician was tricked by police investigators feigning to be interested in buying blood for their ‘sakawa’ activities, following complaints lodged by the hospital to the police.
Visitors to hospital reportedly claimed that their ailments had either been compounded after attending the clinic or in some instances, the pregnant women lose their lives, which hitherto was not the case.
“Our preliminary checks on the said Stephen Enyan indicate that the suspect was initially employed as a 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 statement pointed out.
It continued…“The hospital in the subject matter trained him to manage the facility’s mortuary. In 2012, the hospital’s management assigned Stephen Enyan to the laboratory and relieved him of his duties at the mortuary as manager. This decision by the hospital management under Ghana Health Service 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.”
The statement added, “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 statement, GAMLS indicated that “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.”
BY Melvin Tarlue