Lanao del Sur’s Covid-19 lab gets accreditation from DOH

Dr. Shalimar Rakiin, chief of Amai Pakpak Medical Center in Marawi City. (Supplied)

COTABATO CITY: Amai Pakpak Medical Center’s (APMC) Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19) laboratory in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur received its License to Operate (LTO) from the Department of Health (DOH) on Monday, June 29, 2020.

According to Dr. Shalimar Rakiin, Medical Center Chief of APMC, the hospital underwent a series of accreditation processes: (1) application for accreditation; (2) utilization self-assessment tool assessed by the DOH-10 staff; (3) identification of laboratory area within the hospital using the required floor plan; (4) procurement of the equipment needed; and (5) orientation/training of staff.

“The DOH-10 sent us the GenExpert Machine and cartridge, after their endorsement that we have met all the requirements in the assessment tool,” Rakiin said.

“Then, finally, upon passing all the different stages, they sent us the LTO,” she added. 

The laboratory is now operational. Dr. Rakiin said as of today, they have received 40 swabs from the Sagonsongan community quarantine facility.

Rakiin stressed that the accreditation of the said facility will greatly help in the Province’s quick response for Covid-19. 

“We used to send the swabs to Cagayan de Oro at Regional Epidemiology, Surveillance and Disaster Response Unit (RESDRU-10), and then they send it to Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC). We are also sending our swabs to BARMM RESDRU para i-send nila sa Cotabato Regional and Medical Center (CRMC),” Rakiin said. 

“It takes 2 to 5 days for the results, because marami rin silang tini-test. Now that we will operate the lab, mas mabilis na po ang testing at mas malapit na rin,” she added.

However, the LTO for the said facility will be effective from July 29 until September 29, 2020, only. 

Rakiin added that the provincial hospital is about to set up the biomolecular laboratory, which will be supported by the Bangsamoro Government, through the Office of the Chief Minister, amounting to P15 million to purchase the equipment needed. 

“We are just awaiting for the turn-over of the assistance from the Office of the Chief Minister to help in the operations of our biomolecular lab,” Rakiin said.

BARMM Chief Minister Ahod “Al Haj Murad” Ebrahim expressed his enthusiasm over the recent development. 

“The accreditation of APMC to conduct Rapid PCR tests further puts the Bangsamoro region in a better position in combating Covid-19. I would also like to assure the people of Lanao del Sur that the Bangsamoro Government will continue to provide assistance to APMC in setting up the much needed biomolecular laboratory,” Chief Minister Ebrahim said.

For the infra component, the provincial Local Government Units (LGU) of Lanao del Sur, through the Office of the Governor and Office of the Mayor, will assist P10 million and P2 million respectively.

The biomolecular laboratory is expected to be completed by August 20. 

BPI-BARMM

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