NPHIL Reference Laboratory Director Refutes Concealing COVID-19 Carrier’s Identity

NPHIL's Reference Lab Director, John Dogba

The Director of the National Public Health of Liberia (NPHIL) Reference Laboratory, John Dogba, has taken a serious exception to a media report implicating him that he aided an NPHIL’s employee to conceal his identity during testing at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex testing center.

Benjamin Soko, the man at the center of the controversy, reportedly provided a faked name while doing voluntary testing on April 9, but Dogba in his clarification contrary to the media report said he did not interact with Soko as claimed by the report.

Dogba further clarified to journalists that as Director he does not allow himself to be at the center throughout the day, but only supervises and verifies test results that are submitted to him by the lab technicians before sending it to the authorities.

According to the NPHIL’s Reference Laboratory Director, his work does not allow him to come in contact with people who go for testing; therefore, it makes it impossible for him to conceal the identity of anyone who shows up at the COVID-19 testing center.

Dogba, one of Liberia’s acclaimed Lab Technicians and a Ph.D. fellow of Ibadan University in Nigeria, said he is disturbed by the “Misinformation” in the media about him, noting that the misinformation was probably fueled by the media because Liberians are perhaps not aware of the well streamline lab testing procedure for the Coronavirus in the country.

Medical ethics requires a practitioner to exercise a high level of confidentiality when it comes to handling patient’s records; a condition that also builds confidence in patients that information about them can leak nowhere unless otherwise required.

Any attempt to handle a patient’s record carelessly that his or her information will leak to an outside party sometimes results in punishment for the medical practitioner in charge.

With this in mind, Dogba says “The collection of specimen and testing is done with the highest care and professionalism,” while at the same time calling on Liberians and the media to give support to health workers and scientists who have committed themselves to fight the pandemic.



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