By Appolos Christian
The Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN) has expressed readiness to begin the development and production of vaccines to tackle Coronavirus.
Addressing journalists at the end of an emergency National Executive Council (NEC) meeting on Saturday in Abuja, the National President AMLSN, Prof. James Damen, insisted that its members have the capacity to deliver on local vaccines.
While commending efforts of the federal government in sourcing and strengthening local vaccine production, he advised that incoming foreign vaccines must be further subjected to validation by relevant indigenous bodies to ensure its safety and effectiveness in Nigeria.
He said: “imported vaccines must be such that will be easily adaptable in our clime in view of our peculiar weather. The said vaccine(s) mist also be subjected to in-country validation procedures to ascertain them safety 399 effectiveness in line with international best practices.
“NEC wishes to assure Nigerians that as Medical Laboratory Scientists who are skilled in knowledge and techniques of vaccine(s) production, we are ready to start the development and production of indigenous vaccines against SARS-COV-2 in collaboration with other stakeholders and indeed all other infectious diseases. All we need is adequate funding and necessary Laboratory infrastructure.
“NEC commends the FG for the passion demonstrated so far in up-scaling Laboratory infrastructure during this COVID-19 era 4s seen with the establishment of over seventy (70) Molecular Biology Laboratories in Nigeria adding that the Federal Government can take it a step further by re-activating Human Vaccine Production Laboratories in Nigeria as the world is constantly being challenged by emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases.”
On the Medical and Dental Practitioners’ (MDP) reenactment bill currently undergoing review at the National Assembly, AMLSN raised concerns over its conflict with some parts of the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN) Act, and called for immediate replacement of the Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Sen. Ibrahim Oloriegbe from presiding over the hearing on the health bills on the basis of alleged bias against health workers unions.
“What the MDP re-enactment bill is asking the National Assembly to do is what the National Industrial Court (NIC) in Nigeria has rejected from the eye of the law on many occasions.
“NEC to this end, calls upon the National Assembly to follow suit and reject the bill in line with the submissions of National Universities Commission (NUC), Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria AMLSN), Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU), Assembly of Healthcare Professional Associations (AHPA) and the generality of Nigerians.
“NEC wishes to call on the Senate President, Sen. Dr. Anmed Lawal, CFR to immediately replace the current Chairman, Senate Committee, Dr. Ibrahim Oloriegbe, who doubles as the sponsor of the proposed amendment of the Medical and Dental Practitioners of Nigeria (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill 2020, in view of his clear lack of objectivity, clear biased and preferred interest on the bill.
“NEC regrets that the Nigerian Health space has been turned into an acrimonious war zone by medical doctors whose insistence on leadership of the system from the hospitals to the ministries and to every health-related committee has created more harm and calls for unbundling of the system to have other Health Professionals man these leadership position as history has shown that the system functioned better in this respect.
“Synergy among Health Professionals would help create a better working environment, which is important to patient-centred Healthcare delivery and safety. The leadership of World Health Organisation (WHO) as we speak, is under a laboratory.”