Minister of Health Abdulla Ameen has launched Mobile Laboratory Services in Laamu Atoll as part of the efforts to expand health services in all inhabited islands in Maldives.
Mobile Laboratory Services is a system where samples collected in islands without laboratory services are transported to be tested in laboratories situated in a neighbouring islands. All islands in Laamu Atoll without a laboratory are now equipped to collect blood and urine samples.
Mobile Laboratory Services is a pledge of the administration made as part of the efforts on improving health services in Maldives. The launch of the service in Laamu Atoll was first of its kind and was inaugurated by Minister Ameen.
Speaking at the function to launch the service, Minister Ameen said only 90 islands are equipped with medical laboratory services, depriving the majority of the population from getting basic laboratory services in their respective islands. The minister also highlighted the challenges in providing laboratory services in all islands. He further said the proactive change to identify and treat in the early stages would assist Maldives reduce the rate of death from non-communicable diseases in Maldives from 84% to a much lower rate.
Ministry of Health also signed agreements with companies to deliver the samples from islands without laboratories. Laboratory services are available in Gan, Hithadhoo and Maabaidhoo in Laamu Atoll, while the services are not available in Mundoo, Dhambidhoo, Kunahandhoo and Maamendhoo.
Samples from Mundoo and Dhambidhoo would be transported to the laboratory in Maabaidhoo Health Centre, while the laboratory situated in Hithadhoo Hospital will test the samples collected from Kunahandhoo and Maamendhoo. The regional hospital situated in Laamu Atoll runs an average of over 50 tests a day while the laboratories in other islands in Laamu tests 12 samples on average each day.
The ministry plans to develop a system to send samples abroad in case it is required. The first ever sample from the mobile blood services was collected at the function to inaugurate the service. The blood and urine samples collected would be transported via speed boat and the health centre is communicated the results via email, according to the health ministry.