Parents now can know about any disease of a baby in the womb or any genetic, immunological or infectious disease through molecular test in Bangladesh.
The National Institute of Laboratory Medicine and Referral Centre has developed the capacity to conduct various complicated tests through a hi-tech molecular process at its molecular biotechnology department.
Besides, people will be able to know whether there is any change in the chromosome or cell and is vulnerable to cancer through the immunohistochemistry department.
The government has set up the national referral lab to regain confidence of the citizens who go abroad for treatment and lack confidence in the diagnosis report.
All the testing facilities will be available under one roof in the institute while physicians and medical technologists will get postgraduate degrees from there.
Medical technologists having a valid certificate will be able to receive training in modern diagnosis technology.
But the advance research process will need some more time as necessary positions have not yet been created.
Prof Dr AKM Shamsuzzaman, director of the institute, said there is cytopathology department to test the abnormal changes in cells.
Any kind of information about disease can be known from the hematology department, he told the FE.
There is a clinical pathology department for general diagnosis and a microbiology department for infectious diseases. There is also a hi-tech radiology and imaging department, he added.
Prof Shamsuzzaman said, "We don't have any standard of our own in field diagnosis. We use different standards of other countries for different diseases."
"Our institute will work to set the acceptable standard for diseases in Bangladesh," he went on to say.
Institute sources said a project to this effect got approval from the ECNEC in June 2010.
Work on the construction of the building came to a halt due to a writ petition filed with the high court. The building ultimately was completed in December 2017.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the institute in October 2018 through videoconferencing, but it could not start operations due to manpower shortages.
The operation started this January, although the project duration has been extended for fifth time until the end of this year.
"All diagnostic tests can be done here for a minimum fee. The institute will work to control quality of all government and private diagnostic centres and laboratories," said Prof Shamsuzzaman.
"The institute will be the accreditation authority of all laboratories acting as focal points of health ministry," he added. Negotiations with the accreditation board are ongoing. The course proposal for affiliation will also be sent to universities for starting higher degrees.
All the disciplines are expected to start by this July.
"We sought 707 staff, but got the approval of 206 in 2014 from the public administration ministry. But the finance ministry cut it to 105," Prof Shamsuzzaman said.
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