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95% diagnostic testing in Nigeria will improve treatment outcomes

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[FILE PHOTO] Health sector

Medical laboratory experts have said the provision of quality diagnostic test reports in the least Turn Around Time (TAT) will enable doctors improve patients’ treatment.

They stressed that about 40-50 per cent of samples, which leave Nigeria to be tested in countries like India, South Africa, United Kingdom, America and Europe, increases the turn around time that leads to delay in treatment, thereby increasing the prevalence of diseases.

The Managing Director, VCare Diagnostics, Sanjay Mathur, said these samples that leave Nigeria is one of the problems currently affecting the healthcare diagnostic space, noting that this causes delay of test results, thereby limiting the doctor’s ability to treat patients.

“Some of the results which are needed for diagnosis of a patients gets delayed because the turn around time of results, which comes from any of these countries take about seven, 10 and sometimes 30 days for some of the tests report to come out,” he said.

He said having diagnostic facilities in Nigeria, which performs about 95 per cent of the tests will fill the gap in the diagnostic space and enhance early treatment of diseases, as well as increase the country’s ability to become a reference laboratory point for Africa. He said the diagnostic facility, in collaboration with India biggest laboratory, Techmed will ensure the equipment required for the diagnostic testing are available in Nigeria to test about 600 samples per hour.

“”We are going to become like a research and reference lab for the entire healthcare industry, so that our customers are not only direct customers, but also other laboratories, hospital, research institutions, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) – they all will be sending samples to us and we do the tests for them.”

“Apart from the procedures in the quality of equipment we should have, we cannot talk about quality assurance with cheap inferior equipment. Quality assurance comes from everything, right from materials, reagents, quality of equipment, manpower, and also the systems and procedures you follow,” he said.

Mathur noted that as part of efforts to ensure quality assurance and optimum diagnostic result for every Nigerian, the home collection model is adopted, where laboratory technicians and riders go to people’s home to get the samples and then results are sent via online or hardcopy to the patients home without any charges.

Speaking, the Quality Assurance Manager, Abiola Adejumobi said lack of quality assurance has led to inaccurate diagnosis, which has questioned the reliability of laboratory results in Nigeria.

He added that one of the ways to address the problem is by having internal quality control materials of known standards, as well as external quality assurance programme and ensuring efficiency in both the technical and human capacity.


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