Thursday, August 25, 2016

95% of medical laboratories in Nigeria operated by quacks

The Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria, MLSCN, has said that about 95 per cent of the medical laboratories in some hospitals in Nigeria, as well as private medical laboratories that are scattered throughout Nigeria are manned by quacks and unqualified medical laboratory scientists.

This was disclosed by the Acting Registrar and Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria, Mr. Tosan Erhabor at the 18th Annual Conference and Annual General Meeting, AGM, of the Guild of Medical Laboratory Directors of Nigeria, GMLDN, held at Emmaus House, Awka, Anambra State ,yesterday. He said: “MLSCN was determined to engender confidence in laboratory results, and is therefore, seeking the co-operation of GMLDN in its efforts to rid the medical laboratory science profession of quackery and illegal practice. 

Advocacy meetings had been mounted across the country. “The Council EQA programme first set of samples from participatory laboratories has been received and analyzed, medical laboratories that were yet to key into the scheme to do so. 

The management and stakeholders have completed the protocol for assessment of laboratories as a way of objective assessment geared towards global best practices”. He described the theme of the conference “Medical Laboratory Automation in a Challenging Economy”, as apt given the “technical recession” the nation’s economy is experiencing presently, adding that medical laboratory automation is the use of clinical laboratory instruments to assay large numbers of samples with minimal human intervention”. 

He said that the major obstacle to the implementation of automation in medical laboratories had been its high cost which has prevented laboratory scientists in a challenged economy like ours to adopt, but nevertheless, advocated the use of simple and low cost automated devices like robotic arms or 3D printers which he said can also perform tasks done by large automations, adding that “in a challenging economy like ours, bench top automation is recommended”. “It consists of machines of reduced size compared to large automation units found in resource –rich laboratories. 

Bench top automation is often flexible and can deal with many different tasks. It is an attractive solution for many laboratories bearing in mind that majority of laboratories in a challenging economy do not need employment of full scale automation”, he said. National President of GMLDN Dr Fabian Chukwuezi in his speech said “GMLDN was faced by many challenges that were borne by principal officers with their own personal resources leading to some leaving the stage, but the present National Executive Committee has been consistent and have continued to contribute to series of achievements, especially to the call by the National assembly for public opinion on various challenging health issues”. 

Chairman Anambra State, branch of GMLDN, Dr. Uche Ngenegbo said the state government has now moved to ensure that all the laboratories in the states hospitals are certified.

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