Nigeria’s medical laboratories are substandard – Medical Laboratories Association

President, Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN), Prof. James Damen

President, Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN), Prof. James Damen, on Monday in Jos blamed misdiagnoses in Nigeria’s health facilities on substandard medical laboratories.

“Medical laboratories in Nigeria, even those in tertiary health facilities, are substandard,’’ he told newsmen.

“When you go to our tertiary health institutions, which are the zenith of healthcare delivery in Nigeria, it is expected to have the best medical laboratories to make proper diagnoses.

“However the laboratories are not of standard as compared to intentional best practices and workers there even lack adequate protective equipment,’’ he added.

Prof. Damen, also the Head of Department of Medical Laboratory Science, University of Jos, said it was expedient to restructure all medical laboratories to ensure that results gotten from them were accurate and undisputable.

He also decried the use of substandard equipment, reagents and even the quality of manpower in most of the medical laboratories.

He added that in a bid to cut costs some laboratories use non-medical laboratory scientists or low cadre officials resulting in misdiagnoses.

He said lack of political will to implement the scheme of service for medical laboratory scientists and failure to implement the Nigeria Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria ACT 11 of 2003 were the bane of Nigeria’s medical laboratory science profession.

He said the AMLSN would inaugurate the West African Postgraduate College of Medical Laboratory Science this year as a means of improving the capacity of its members.

The president added that this would help to build the capacity of AMLSN members to fellowship cadre.