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Lack of technologists for corona testing

Published : 05 May 2020 09:47 PM | Updated : 06 Sep 2020 09:28 AM

A large number of medical technologists are urgently needed to conduct the Covid-19 mass testing needed across the country.

Public health experts opined, ‘if we want to get the real figure on time, we have to test as many samples as possible.
They also said, due to the lack of medical technologists at laboratories in the country, samples required for corona testing are not being collected. Due to non-availability of samples, the full capacity of the laboratories at various institutes introduced for the corona testing, is not being utilized.

World Health Organization (WHO), guidelines mentioned that there should be 5 medical technologists for each doctor.
According to several senior medical technologists in Dhaka and outside Dhaka, there are a total of 30,000 government doctors in the country. And though there are supposed to be 1,50,000 medical technologists, but in reality, there are only 5,165 technologists in total.

The total number of posts (6 posts combinedly) is 7,920, in contrast there are 2,755 vacancies. Medical Technologist (Laboratory) has a total of 2,182 posts, whereas there are 1,417 working people and 765 vacancies.

As a result, only 500 medical technologists are collecting samples for 33 laboratories across the country.
Medicine Specialist professor, Z M Kabir Chowdhury talking to Bangladesh Post said, “As a result, the exact number of Corona patients in the country is not appearing. The Department of Health is facing a difficult time in controlling the disease in proportion to the type of infection.”

But the number of corona cases in the country is increasing every day.Again, necessary measures are not being taken to ensure the safety of the medical technologists who are collecting samples at the highest risk, he added.

He further pointed out that the emergency appointment of unemployed medical technologists could be the right solution.
In this regard, the former Vice Chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University and Chairman of the Department of Virology, Prof. Dr. Nazrul Islam said the health department is increasing the number of corona testing laboratories and also promoting it with good results.

“But the number of medical technologists is not increasing. The number of samples is not increasing. The proportions that are supposed to be tested are not up-to-the-minute. If this continues, it will be too late to control the disease. The amount of damage including infection and death will increase.”