18 August 2015
A lot of people are not aware of the existence or the role of Clinical laboratories in healthcare delivery. This is the reason why you often hear people say “the Doctor tested my blood”, or “the Nurse did a test and said that I am diabetic”; indicating that they don’t even know that there is a group of medical professionals called Medical/Clinical Laboratory Scientists who carry out these tests.
Medical laboratory testing is very pivotal in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of diseases in patients. Laboratory tests help determine the presence, extent, or absence of disease and monitor the effectiveness of treatment. It has been proven that roughly 70 percent of all medical decisions regarding a patient’s diagnosis and treatment, hospital admission and discharge are dependent on laboratory test results.
Even though the patient history, signs and symptoms are necessary, Doctors can only make informed diagnoses when laboratory test results are available. The medical laboratory professionals also contribute immensely to epidemiological study, wellness testing, guiding treatment, and monitoring patient progress. In short, Medical Laboratory Science professionals provide answers to life-and-death decisions every day, yet, the profession rarely gets the recognition it deserves from the society.
Over the years, the routine diagnostic medical laboratories of the Medical Research Council (MRC) Unit, The Gambia has kept up to the task of providing reliable laboratory results crucial for patient management, scientific research and clinical trials.
We provide quality laboratory services to aid the diagnosis and treatment of diseases such as infectious diseases, liver cirrhosis, renal failure, heart diseases, diabetes, haematologic diseases, tumour, hormonal disorder, among others. We also provide blood transfusion services as well as recommending the correct antibiotic for prescription. In addition, we contribute to The Unit’s internship programme that has enabled a large number of students to gain practical experience in our laboratories.
Our laboratories have consistently maintained Good Clinical Laboratory Practice (GCLP) accreditation since 2010, hence we are well positioned to produce quality laboratory results vital to saving lives and improving health across the developing world.
“Medical laboratory work is quite demanding; some of the tests require varying processing time ranging from a few minutes to up to seven days or more after sample collection. Given the central role that Medical/Clinical laboratories play in healthcare delivery, this is why you should know that we are still caring for you even long after you have left our facility”, says Bolarinde J. Lawal, Clinical Laboratories Manager.