…Upgrade labs in tertiary hospitals, MLSCN boss tells FG
By Hassan Zaggi
Former Head of State , General Yakubu Gowon, has expressed concern over the way and manner quacks have taken over the medical laboratory science profession in Nigeria.
This is even as the Acting Registrar of the MLSCN, Sir Tosan Erhabor, has called on the federal government to upgrade laboratories of public hospitals to enable them get international certification. This, he said, will halt medical tourism to the barest minimum in the country.
Gowon stated this at the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN), in Abuja, yesterday.
The former president regretted that quackery is still a major challenge bedeviling the medical laboratory profession despite having 25 universities offering degrees in the field, and with the over 30, 000 medical laboratory scientists, over 23, 000 technicians and over 15, 000 assistants.
He, however, advised the Council to improve on its regulatory activities so that quality health care was not compromised in the country.
Gowon further called for alignment of all medical and regulatory councils under one umbrella to reduce rivalry among health professionals.
Speaking, the Acting Registrar of the MLSCN, Sir Tosan Erhabor, insisted that upgrading medical laboratories in government owned hospitals across the country is the only way to reduce medical tourism from the country.
“We call on government to give us more backing to make sure that teaching hospitals, specialist hospitals and Federal Medical Centres are accredited to ISO 15189 to stem the tide of medical tourism,” he said .
According to him, many laboratories in Nigeria have not acquired the requisite international certification called ISO 15189 and that the MLSCN was working assiduously to ensure they get the certification.
He, however, revealed that three laboratories in the country have gotten the certification through the Council.
The MLSCN Acting Registrar further disclosed that his Council has recorded several achievement since it was established 50 years ago.
The mandate of MLSCN, he said, include “include determining the standard of knowledge and skill to be possessed by persons desiring to be practitioners, it regulates the profession through periodic accreditation of training institutions as well as public and private medical laboratories.
“As a Council, it also regulates the production , importation , sales and stocking of diagnostic laboratory reagents and chemicals among other functions.”
On his part, former chairman of the governing board of MLSCN, Prof Dennis Agbonlahor, decried the rivalry between pathologists and medical laboratory scientists, saying such issues would not arise if pathologists stuck to their functions and not trying to take over the functions of medical laboratory scientists.
He enjoined both professionals to work together on diagnostic research to improve results for patients.