Umahi lauds lab scientists’ role in health sector development

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Ebonyi State governor, Engr. Dave Umahi has lauded  laboratory scientists in the country for their immense contributions to the development of the health sector.

Umahi made the commendation at the 56th Annual Scientific Conference and Workshop, organised by the Association of Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria on Thursday in Abakaliki.

The governor described the contributions of the group in the provision of quality medical and health care delivery as enormous and commendable.

He said that the state government would continue to partner with relevant stakeholders in the health sector to ensure improved service delivery.

“We have done so much to enhance our health sector development, including building and equipping our general hospitals and Virology Centre, to meet the health needs of our people,” he said.

Umahi, who was represented by the Secretary to State Government, Dr Kenneth Ugbala, thanked the association for choosing Ebonyi for the conference.

He was conferred with the association’s “Most Outstanding Governors’ Award” for infrastructure development.

Earlier, the National President of the association, Dr Bassey Enya, commended the Ebonyi government for its commitment in improving the health sector and physical infrastructures.

Enya called on government at all levels to invest more funds in the sector for quality and efficient service delivery.

He blamed misdiagnosis in the country’s health system on government’s inability to provide the enabling environment for laboratory science practice to thrive.

He said: “Government at all levels have been unable to provide the requisite and well trained man-power that would adequately carry out correct diagnosis in the hospitals.

“We still have the environment that is not ripe for laboratory to thrive, lack of well trained personnel.

“Reagents are brought into the country without adequate supervision and re-evaluation to ensure they are up to the best acceptable standards.

“Some state governments do not have up to 10 medical laboratory scientists in their employ. This is unacceptable.”

Enya said  that the theme of the conference, “Misdiagnosis and patient safety in Nigeria Health system: The medical laboratory priority,” was carefully chosen because of the challenges posed by misdiagnosis and the need to stem them.

“In this 21st century, patient safety is a key consideration in healthcare management, hence the focus on it.

“Incidences of professionals churning out incorrect and discordant results are becoming noticeable and are clearly unacceptable because they lead to wrong medications.

“They also lead to delayed patient management, wastage of scarce funds, long hospital stay and even death,” he said.

He called on the federal government, relevant authorities and corporate bodies to channel more efforts and resources in providing infrastructure for better medical laboratory investigations.

“In doing this, medical scientists with requisite knowledge and expertise must be involved.

“The obvious testing lacuna observed in the management of COVID-19 outbreak readily comes to mind.

“The country needs to be proactive and not wait to be overwhelmed by such cases before embarking on emergency interventions that are usually not far-reaching enough,” Enya said.

Our Correspondent reports that the three-day conference will culminate in  the election of a new national leadership of the association.