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Gowon charges lab scientists to stamp out quackery

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Representative of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Obasi Everest Oluchukwu (left); former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon and former Vice Chancellor, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Prof Dennis Agbolahun during a public lecture by the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN) in Abuja…yesterday PHOTO: LUCY LADIDI ELUKPO<br />

Former Military Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, has tasked laboratory scientists in Nigeria to assist in stamping out quackery in the country’s health sector.

Gowon, who spoke yesterday at the 50th anniversary of the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN) in Abuja, described the influx of quack health workers into the profession as regrettable.

He observed that despite the growing number of health-related degree-awarding institutions in the country, the situation whereby unqualified persons attend to patients has continued unabated.

“It is rather disturbing that with degree programmes in Laboratory Science in 25 universities, over 30,000 medical laboratory scientists, more than 23,000 technicians and over 15,000 assistants, there is still growing incidence of quackery in your profession.

“Regrettably, this is promoted by unqualified persons and a handful of qualified practitioners. Time has come, therefore, for you to step up your policing (regulation) activities to stamp out this evil, so it does not compromise the quality of healthcare delivery in Nigeria,” he said.

The elder statesman said to effectively fight the menace, the Federal Government must assist the council by deploying policy initiatives to reduce brain drain in the health sector and discourage the growing trend of medical tourism, which he said is drastically depleting the nation’s economic resources.

Gowon further suggested that serious consideration should be given to the alignment of medical councils under one umbrella.

This, according to him, would bring about a more efficient and result- oriented council while also leading to improve funding for health care delivery and an enhanced procurement of medical equipment.

Acting registrar of the council, Mr. Tosan Erahbor, said it was fighting vigorously to see an end to quackery in the profession.

He noted that with the approval of its inspection protocol by the Federal Government, the menace would be nipped in the bud.


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