In a bid to ensure that Nigerians have easy access to COVID-19 testing kits and vaccine, the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN) has charged its members to commence in-country research and development efforts in the production of diagnostics test kits, vaccines and therapeutics rather than letting government rely on importation of such tools which are usually challenged by global demand, travel restrictions and antigenic mismatches.
The association came up with the position during its 57th Annual Scientific Conference/Workshop and Annual General Meeting, with the theme: ‘Medical Laboratory Preparedness for the Next Pandemic,’ held in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.
In a communiqué signed by its national president, Professor James Garba Damen, national secretary, Dr Musa Muhib, and national publicity secretary, Olusoji Billyrose, the association noted that infectious diseases would continue to emerge, while medical laboratories must continue to reinvent their policies and practices to effectively investigate outbreaks with the view of containing them early enough before they progress into pandemics and international calamities.
While applauding the Federal Government for constituting a health reform committee, the conference also cautioned against using the committee to drench the present tension generated in the health sector, affirming that the ministers of health and his labour counterpart know what to do to stabilise the health sector instead of hiding behind committee reports to delay and derail justice.
The conference lauded Medical Laboratory Scientists and other healthcare professionals for their resilience in the fight against the notorious SARSCov-2 virus, noting that in spite of lack of motivation as demonstrated by the government’s opaque stance on hazard allowance, health insurance and provision of safety kits and safe working environment, Medical Laboratory Scientists, and indeed all health care professionals, have stayed true to their professional calling.
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