February 1, 2023

Preparations are ongoing for the opening of a molecular laboratory at the Benguet General Hospital in La Trinidad town, which will boost the Covid-19 testing capacity of the province.
BeGH Chief of Hospital Dr. Meliarazon Dulay said the physical structure of the laboratory is being set up in accordance to the standards set by the Department of Health.
The molecular laboratory is expected to be operational by September this year.
Earlier, representatives of DOH and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) have visited the hospital to inspect the area and give their inputs for the establishment of the testing laboratory.
Dulay said medical technologists of BeGH are undergoing training at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, one of the country’s sub-national testing centers for Covid-19.
“The personnel will undergo online modular training for five days then they have to pass the online proficiency exam. After that, they will undergo further training. We already have three medical technologists who are certified; the other three have an ongoing training,” she said.
BeGH is also waiting for the other equipment needed at the laboratory, which will be subjected to final inspection and accreditation by DOH.
The other machines and equipment to be used for the testing lab, as well as the testing kits and consumables are being acquired through the office of Benguet legislative caretaker Eric Go Yap as well as from the DOH.
Yap has personally funded the construction of the P3 million – worth laboratory building.
It was Yap who donated the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and automated extraction machines to BeGH but is now temporarily being used by BGHMC pending the construction of the molecular laboratory.
The donated machine boosted the testing capacity of BGHMC with almost 1,000 tests being conducted daily for the whole of north Luzon.
The RT-PCR and automated extraction machines will soon be transferred to BeGH once the construction of the molecular laboratory center is completed. – Ofelia C. Empian