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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Emeribe-Only 3000 Out Of 10,000 Laboratories In Nigeria Are Properly Registered

Medical practitioners have spoken out against the deplorable state of medical facilities across the country which have continued to have counterproductive results in diagnosis and patient care and management. They have are also advocating for implementation of public-private partnership (PPP) initiatives to address the situation. This observation was made at a diagnostic awareness forum organized by Initiative for Medical Diagnostic Awareness (IMDA) in Lagos state, Nigeria.
The medical experts maintained that a good number of medical laboratories in Nigeria have continued to deliver below standard as a result of the poor infrastructures they work with. The low performance was also attributed to quackery, and poor development and implementation of quality management systems (QMS). The attendants to the forum with theme, “Diagnostic Business Forum” stated that a Public Private Partnership might probably
salvage the health sector in Nigeria.A programme, (Strengthening Laboratory Management towards Accreditation – SLMTA) was developed to help address some of this challenges but it is yet to achieve the objectives. The programme was also created to accelerate the Africa Regional Office (WHO AFRO) accreditation process in Nigeria and other African countries.
Speaking at the forum, Dr Yewande Adeshina from the Lagos State Special Adviser on Public Health emphasized the need to find urgent solution to the challenge of medical misdiagnosis to avoid the consequences when mishandled. She applauded the organizers of the forum for creating a credible platform for stakeholders to discuss problems and challenges confronting medical diagnosis in the country and added that “empirical treatment seems to be more embraced than evidence-based medicine.” Dr Adeshina listed lack of public and private sector coordination, commercial pressures in the private sector, ill-motivating work environment and lack of concerted planning as part of the challenges causing problems in the Nigerian health sector.
She also gave support for the private-public partnership model to move the sector forward and help more Nigerians in need. “The healthcare sector in Nigeria is currently on life support. It is time we considered the private-public partnership (PPP) to revive the sector, and provide quality healthcare Nigerians deserve” she said.
The Executive Director of IMDA, Abimbola Adekoya, maintained that the forum was organized to assess the major barriers to the development of healthcare delivery service in Nigeria. Adekoya listed some of the barriers to include poor funding, inadequate infrastructure, limited access to new technology and poor link with development partners. He added that foreigners have hijacked the diagnostic sector in the name of partnership.
Managing Director of Union Diagnostic, Dr Olusola Akinniyi, said although medical diagnosis has the capacity to save lives, “healthcare providers in developing countries, like ours, lack basic diagnostic tools that would have been taken for granted in developed countries.” Akinniyi hinged the solution to the challenges bedeviling the sector on collaboration between donors, industries and the public sector. Akinniyi said: “In order to achieve the best possible medical outcome, advanced diagnostic examinations need to be applied to diagnose the patients’ underlying health problems precisely. “According to the Registrar of the Medical Laboratory Science Council (MLSC), Prof. Anthony Emeribe, there are over 10,000 medical laboratories in the country. Unfortunately, most of them operate below global standards. Even worse, only a meagre 3,000 medical laboratory are said to be in the council’s national database.”


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