Osinbajo charges laboratory scientists to deliver quality disease diagnosis
• West African College inducts 216 foundation fellows
Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has charged the West African Postgraduate College of Medical Laboratory Science, and the Nigerian Medical Laboratory scientists to ensure qualitative laboratory environment for effective disease diagnosis.
Osinbajo, who declared open the 2020 Congress of the West African Postgraduate College of Medical Laboratory Science (WAPCMLS), and induction/investiture of its fellows, in Lagos, noted the importance of accurate and reliable laboratory diagnosis in the prevention and control of diseases.
Osinbajo, represented by the Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, noted that medical laboratory services are a vital component of a quality healthcare system, and will continue to play a vital role in disease prevention, detection, surveillance and patient management.
“The medical laboratory professional is an indispensable partner in providing and ensuring optimal health care. As this new cadre of laboratory professionals is birthed in the country, I am expecting it will not only ensure the availability of highly skilled professionals, but I also expect them to ensure the laboratory environment is peaceful,” he said.
While commending West African Health Organisation (WAHO), for the establishment of West African Postgraduate College of Medical Laboratory Science, he added that it would harmonise the development of medical laboratory human resources across the ECOWAS region and Cameroon.
Speaking shortly after the congress, the Registrar of the College, Dr. Godswill Okara, expressed its preparedness to collaborate with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), to tackle quackery in the profession.
Okara, who said 216 foundation fellows of the College were inducted, said for the African region to standardise the practice of the profession, collaborative efforts are crucial.
He alleged that fake laboratory scientists are in Nigeria, adding that the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN), has tried severally to carry out an inspection on all laboratory facilities in the country.
“We have noticed that if 10 people go to a laboratory to test for malaria, nine persons out of the 10, would be diagnosed with malaria and typhoid. Both illnesses are over-diagnosed and over-treated in Nigeria.”
“To tackle that issue, there was a time when the AMLSN taskforce went on an inspection of laboratory facilities in Nigeria, which is in line with the law, but many private clinics resisted them. They started calling the Federal Ministry of Health, and before we knew it, the special team was asked to step down.
“So with that kind of situation, when authorities who are supposed to hold these people accountable for their actions, are the ones protecting them, the innocent public will be at the receiving end,” he added.
The 216 foundation fellows were drawn from Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Togo, Gambia, and Cameroon, who noted that without quality laboratory services, no health system can be resilient.