Thursday, April 23, 2020 — Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago — In recognition of Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), celebrates and thanks all laboratory professionals for their dedication to providing an essential health care service, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic.
Executive Director, CARPHA, Dr. Joy St. John said, “At CARPHA, we have always recognized and appreciated the work of laboratory professionals, but now COVID-19 has seen the entire world applauding them, as lab professionals along with other healthcare workers, continue to provide yeoman service in the frontline of this global crisis.”
The CARPHA Medical Microbiology Laboratory (CMML), headquartered in Trinidad and Tobago, is the regional reference laboratory, which currently conducts tests for suspected COVID-19 cases for 18 of its Member States.
CARPHA’s Head of Laboratory Services and Networks, Dr. Gabriel Gonzalez-Escobar, was high in praise for his CMML team.
“The lab staff works deep into the night, on a shift system, to deliver timely COVID-19 results to the Region,” he said.
“This diligent work has resulted in a consistent turnaround time of less than 48 hours for test results,” he added.
Dr. St. John further expressed pride and sincere gratitude for the other hard-working laboratory teams at CARPHA’s Medicines Quality Control and Surveillance (MQCSD) Department, located in Jamaica, and its Environmental Health and Sustainable Development Department (EHS) in Saint Lucia.
MQCSD is the Region’s sole ISO/IEC 17025 accredited pharmaceutical quality control laboratory. The staff analyses and verifies the adherence of medicines marketed in the Caribbean to international quality and safety standards.
The CARPHA EHS is also accredited to ISO 17025 by the Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation (CALA). This full-service microbiological and analytical laboratory provides environmental analyses, including water quality monitoring, plant, soil and tissue analyses, food microbiological testing, indoor environmental quality monitoring and noise testing.
Medical Laboratory Professionals Week was initiated in 1975 and is an annual celebration, which takes place in the last full week of April. It provides the profession with an opportunity to increase public understanding of and appreciation for clinical and public health laboratory personnel.