As the world marches forward in development on all fronts, old ways of doing things are giving way to new – and more efficient and reliable – ways of doing things.

Gone are the days society limped around in superstitions (perhaps, we still do) and mere gut feeling of doing things without verifiable proofs of what is and what is not; what is there and what is not there. Blame this change on Science and man’s insatiable quest to know and better understand, with empirical proofs, what our world is made of. Enter the laboratory – the scientist’s major playing ground!

A laboratory is a facility that provides controlled conditions in which scientific or technological research, experiments and measurements may be performed.



Laboratories in Ghana come in different forms for different purposes or peculiar needs and risks associated with each of them. With each type of laboratory come their required features – be it to a particular industry (e.g. pharmaceutical, chemical) or to an activity (e.g. small volume manufacture of high potent products, etc.). Clinical or medical laboratories, production laboratories, research and development laboratories, analytical and quality laboratories are a few examples of laboratories in Ghana. Now, let’s briefly explore each of them, shall we?

Clinical/medical laboratories, equipped for diagnostic tests of tissue, blood and other patient specimen aids greatly in knowing people’s health status or ailment and assist physicians correctly zero in on their illness and offer appropriate medical help or support to same. It enables physicians to detect, diagnose and treat disease.

Production laboratories may be found in the pharmaceuticals, the science and technology sectors. They form the critical link between research/development and mass or commercial production.

Research and development laboratories, usually supporting a company, as the name suggests busy themselves with finding ways to improve the products of the company (innovations) or suggesting ways the company’s processes could be improved upon. It is frequently used as a problem solvers by many sections of the company.

Analytical and quality control laboratories refer to all those processes and procedures designed to ensure that the results of laboratory analysis are consistent, comparable, and accurate and within specified limits of precision.



Most of these different types of laboratories in Ghana and their usefulness may not be as known to majority of the populace as the medical (or clinical) laboratories are. Because of the place they occupy and the problems they solve, a lot of people know about them and may have experienced them one way or another. At the peak of the corona pandemic, for example, laboratories in Ghana became a hot bed (and they still are, perhaps). When laboratories in Ghana, certified to test for the virus, became a sine qua non, SYNLAB, formerly Medlab Ghana, rose to the challenge.

Rebranded, re-oriented and postured to provide actionable diagnostic information for healthy lives and well-being for all, SYNLAB’s Greater Accra facilities and sampling points were open (still are) and ready for the Covid-19 test to support the defeat of humanity’s marauding enemy.  But that is only one service in a host of others – laboratory tests, clinical diagnostics, radiology, genetic analysis, and pharmacogenetics. Approximately, they perform 1.3 million tests everyday worldwide.

Their branches in over forty countries in Europe, Africa, Middle East and Latin America and staff strength of approximately thirteen thousand including over one thousand pathologists and academic professionals provides physicians in Ghana with a catalogue of over five thousand specialized and routine tests and has access to an extensive range of specialised pathologists who consult on patient results. Visit their website for more information: www.synlab.com.gh


Early instances of laboratories recorded in English involved alchemy and the preparation of medicine. Historically, the earliest laboratory was a home laboratory of the well-known Greek philosopher and scientist, Pythagoras. There, he conducted an experiment on sound and string vibrations. Researching in teams however started in the 19th century and many new kinds of equipment were developed in the 20th century.





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