The Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN) has urged the federal government to ensure that all aspects of the National Health Act 2014 are implemented to improve quality health services in the country.
National President of the Association, Alhaji Toyosi Raheem made the call on Tuesday at the opening ceremony of the 52nd Annual National Conference of the Association in Jalingo, the Taraba state capital.
Toyosi urged the federal government to give priority to the procurement of equipment and commodities needed for quality and efficient medical laboratory services in all the health facilities in the country to promote universal health coverage as envisioned by the World Health organisation (WHO).
According to him, the implementation of the National Health Act 2014 and the Medical Laboratory Services Strategic Plan Document of the federal government 2015-2019 remain the best strategies in strengthening laboratory services in the country.
He noted that the theme of the conference; Tumour Micro-Environments: Basic and Applied Strategies for Combating Health Challenges was chosen as a result of the increasing menace of Cancer and tumour related health challenges.
“It is sad that despite all the advances in diagnosis and treatment of cancer and tumour related health challenges, many lives are still being lost to cancer and cancer-related diseases.
“We members of Medical Laboratory Scientists have continually emphasise the need for early screening, confirmation and management of tumour, infections and other health challenges as against self-medication which has claimed many lives,” he said.
The President also called on the federal ministry of health to urgently withdraw the ban on inspection and monitoring of medical laboratories in Nigeria by Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria to enable the Association check the activities of quacks in the system.
Taraba state governor, Darius Ishaku who also harped on the issue of quackery in the profession, urged the officials of the association to urgently tackle the challenge, adding that his administration was doing everything possible to improve the health care delivery services in the state.
The governor noted that he recently engaged 162 new nurses as part of efforts to improve health delivery services in the state, even as he said government was supporting students of the state studying health related courses in universities with allowances and automatic employment upon graduation to encourage more young people to go into health care service.
Co-Chairman of the conference, Hon. Istifanus Gyang, member representing Barkin Ladi Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives in his remarks, acknowledged the strategic role of medical laboratory scientists in the county, saying quality diagnosis is key to a healthy nation.
Gyang noted that the conference would enable participants to look at the challenges in the health sector with a view to strengthen and standardize infrastructure and the practice of medical laboratory science in Nigeria.
The lawmaker pledged to facilitate the quick passage of a bill establishing the School of Post Medical Laboratory Science in Kano, and to ensure that the medical lab scientist in Nigeria, compete favourably with their counterparts anywhere in the world.
In his address, state chairman of the association, Mr. Collins Swem thanked the Taraba state government for its tremendous support to the association and appealed to the governor to employ more Medical Laboratory Scientists and implement the Enhanced Entry Point which the state is yet to implement.