Nigeria

COVID-19: Medical scientists call for equipping of labs

Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN) has called for the equipping of laboratories in our hospitals in order to contain the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the country.

The National Secretary of the association, Professor James Garba Damen made the call during their Northern meeting held in Kaduna at the weekend.

He appealed to Federal and states’ governments to equip the laboratories with vital machines such as real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction and Molecular Biology laboratory facilities to increase its chances of quickly nipping in the bud of recurrence of an epidemic or pandemic in the future.

Damen also called for improved recognition of medical laboratory scientists as front liners in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic.

“Medical laboratory scientists are front liners in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic. What we want is the government to restructure our laboratories to contain highly infectious COVID-19 equipment, molecular biology laboratory facilities and real-time PCR.

According to him, most hospitals in the country don’t have the PCR machine and molecular biology laboratory, saying this is prolonging the treatment of covid-19 in the country.

The National Secretary who is also one of the presidential aspirants in their next election lamented that medical scientists need to be integrated into the Presidential Task Force on covid-19 as front liners.

“We advocated that our association is supposed to be integrated into the Presidential Task Force as front liners in the Covid-19 pandemic.

‘Some state governments have already identified and recognised the role of medical laboratory scientists in the Covid-19 pandemic and included our members among the state committees.

“Medical laboratory scientists play key roles in the Covid-19 pandemic apart from conducting the initial test, even when the test is positive and the patient is infected and in isolation, medical laboratory scientists are supposed to carry out investigations on blood count to know if the patient has overcome the disease.”

He lamented the poor recognition accorded to medical laboratory scientists amongst other challenges said. I have worked in teaching hospitals, in the academics and in research institutes, most of the challenges faced by our colleagues I’m aware of them.

“Our main challenge is with pathologists who failed to give recognition to medical laboratory scientists. We have our scheme of service but most hospitals are governed by medical doctors who refused to implement our scheme of service.

We will apply diplomacy and dialogue in resolving the challenge.

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