We are excited to share the highlights of our recent training program, which aimed to enhance viral load testing capabilities in Ghana. Over two intensive days, we achieved significant progress and laid the foundation for future collaborations.
The training commenced with a brief meeting to introduce key persons and outlined the importance of CfHSS collaborating with Biocentric, A Bruker Company. Dr. Michael Owusu, the Executive Director for CfHSS in his opening address, shed light on the HIV burden in Ghana. He emphasized on the importance of viral load testing for monitoring treatment success and also highlighted challenges in viral load testing which includes high costs of equipment, long turnaround times and many more. Dr. Marc Tordjeman the CEO, provided an overview of Biocentric, A Bruker Company and its mission to upscale viral load testing using a low-cost open PCR platforms.
Excitingly, three automated extractors (GenoXtract) and a state-of-the-art real-time PCR system (Fluorocycler XT) were provided and installed by the Bruker team at the Genomics and Infectious Disease Laboratory, GIDL where the training was held. Researchers and laboratory scientists received a hands-on training on equipment installation and its operation.
A total of 29 archived HIV samples were processed and a real-time PCR was performed using the new equipment. Subsequently, 10 archived Hepatitis B samples were processed and amplified using the Fluorocycler XT device, generously provided by our collaborators. The results from the successful test run were analysed and compared to other platforms. The discussion of the results was followed by an assessment of the training course to determine participant satisfaction.
In order to help the Ministry of Health make well-informed decisions on the use of the Bruker equipment for viral load testing in Ghana, plans for an upscale field research were discussed with the collaborating team
This training program marks a significant step forward in our mission to improve viral load testing in Ghana.