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Medical lab scientists urge FG to fund accreditation process

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Toyosi Y. Raheem, National President, Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN).

As part of efforts to promote quality medical laboratory services in the nation’s health care facilities, the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN) has called on the Federal Government to adequately fund medical laboratory accreditation.

The laboratory scientists, who made the appeal in Lagos recently during the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) Chapter of the association annual symposium, stated that aggressive medical laboratory accreditation was the way to go, if Nigeria diagnostic healthcare system was to move forward.

The theme of the event was “Funding for Accreditation Process in Medical Diagnostic and Research Laboratories in Nigeria’’.Speaking at the event, the National President of AMLSN, Mr. Toyosi Raheem, said that adequate funding for accreditation for medical laboratory would translate into quality of laboratory services for Nigerians.

Raheem said: “The quality of a clinical establishment depends on the competences and qualities of its medical laboratories.“If you have a giant hospital with a deficient laboratory, that hospital will be performing below optimal expectation.

“When the quality of laboratories is enhanced, it facilitates quality diagnosis of patients, whether people that are sick or those out to check their health status.
“So, once you have a very good laboratory in a health institution, the quality of service of such institutions will be outstanding.”

Similarly, Chairperson of NIMR Chapter of AMLSN, Mrs. Maureen Aniedobe, said inadequate funding for medical laboratory has been the bane of the Nigerian diagnostic healthcare system.

Aniedobe, who called on the Federal Government to create a budgetary allocation for funding of the government-owned medical laboratory centres, said accreditation is currently donor-driven, a situation she said is not good for the health of nation’s laboratory health.

The issue of medical laboratory accreditation has been at the front burner since 2008 when the World Health Organisation Regional Office for Africa (WHO AFRO) introduced a stepwise accreditation approach to improving quality of laboratory in Africa. The programme uses an incremental stepwise approach that is objectively measurable over time using international standards and the standards were adapted to the local environment.Since the programme was introduced, only a few of the several medical laboratory centres existing in Nigeria has either been accredited or attain a five star ranking.



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