By: Awesome Ekene
The Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN), Anambra State branch has declared war against quacks and illegal operators of substandard medical laboratories in the State.
The body made the commitment during its annual scientific conference themed: Quality Medical Laboratory Service and Practice in Community Healthcare System: The Challenges and Prospects.
Nine members of the association received their conferment and investiture including Comrade Anahalu Ikenna as chairman; Sir Ibegbu hich featured luncheon, investiture and awards in Awka., secretary; Njotu Jackson, publicity secretary and Nwoye Charles, the social welfare officer to constitute the 9th executive of the association in Anambra.
In his presentation, Ikenna told his members that the responsibilities on the shoulders of laboratory scientists were enormous and the tasks very demanding.
He said that the trust bestowed on the professionals should be seen as a clarion call to live above board. He noted that in effect it meant members should be mindful of their electioneering campaign promises to accomplish them.
He said, “Ndi Anambra deserve the best medical and healthcare services. Therefore, the 9th executive committee and the generality of medical laboratory scientists practicing in the State shall do everything possible to ensure the residents get the best we can offer.
“In this era of diagnostic medicine, medical laboratory scientists play a foremost role in ensuring that all medical prognosis and diagnosis are confirmed by empirical evidence to necessitate medical intervention.
“It is in the DNA of medical laboratory scientists to provide cost effective, precise and accurate laboratory diagnosis which gives the impetus for appropriate treatment and management of medically challenged individuals. “
He noted that medical laboratory scientists had played vital roles in combating epidemics and pandemics in Anambra State, Nigeria and the world at large. He cited Ebola virus, Lassar fever disease and Covid-19 as cases in point.
He said that at the outbreak of Covid-19 in 2020, the medical laboratory scientists threw their lives in the line to achieve the provision of timely, precise and accurate results. He noted that it enabled governement to manage infected individuals and their contacts through treatment, isolation and quarantine.
He insisted that the effective control of the “deadly” disease would not have been possible, if not for the involvement of medical laboratory scientists in the control programme.
On controlling quackery in medical laboratory profession, Ikenna assured that the AMLSN under his watch would liase with regulatory bodies to tackle that. He mentioned Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN), the State Ministry of Health and other relevant organs of governement which he said would assist his executive to flush out quacks and illegal operators of substandard medical laboratories in Anambra State.
He said that his administration would interface with the State governement to employ more medical laboratory scientists in the State’s general hospitals and medical centers.
“A situation where political allies are settled by employing their unqualified and unlicenced children with bachelor degrees in Biological Sciences, Biochemistry and other allied courses in the hospital medical laboratories to perform the duties of qualified and licenced medical laboratory scientists is no more acceptable, ” he promised.
The keynote speaker, Prince Elochukwu Adibo told the practitioners that there was need for proper investigation and error-free laboratory examination. He mentioned the acronym, ART in laboratory science which he interpreted to mean Accurate, Reliable and Timely as what everyone practitioner in the field should always bear in mind without compromise.
The co-chairman, planning committee, Comrade Charles Nwoye said that the conference was the first edition of the Anambra State branch of the association.
He noted that the dream of the conference was born before the inception of the current administration, saying that had become the campaign mantra by the office of the welfare officer.
The event which featured luncheon, investiture and awards presentation was graced by Commissioner for Health, Dr Vincent Okpala who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mr Livinus Nwankwo.