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Dakuku highlights role of Medical Laboratory Services in effort to combat diseases

Dakuku highlights role of Medical Laboratory Services in effort to combat diseases

Former Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside has emphasised the role of medical laboratory science in the attempt to combat intractable diseases in the country.

Dakuku said medical laboratory scientists occupied a strategic place in the effective detection, diagnosis, and response to diseases. He stressed that those were key to combating “emerging infectious diseases, like COVID-19, longstanding scourges, such as tuberculosis and malaria, and the growing burden of antimicrobial resistance.”

The former House of Representatives member made the assertions in a speech to open the 18th Annual Lecture and National Executive Council Meeting (NEC) of the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN), which took place recently in Abakiliki, the Ebonyi State capital.

Speaking to the theme of the lecture, “Mitigating intractable disease outbreaks through strengthened medical laboratory services,” Dakuku, who was chairman of the occasion, said the challenge of intractable diseases required the concerted action of the professional body “to find new ways to work together more effectively in pursuit of our determination to solve humanity’s most significant health challenge. And reflect on whether we should invest enough in research, education, and laboratory investigations to find the root causes and possible solutions to these rare health occurrences.”

The lecture covered topics, like strengthening laboratory infrastructure and capacity, leveraging technology and innovation, ensuring quality and standardisation, fostering collaboration and partnerships, and investing in research and development.

Dakuku expressed hope that the outcome of the meeting would help in efforts to alleviate intractable disease outbreaks.

He commended the Ebonyi State governor, Francis Nwifuru, who was the guest lecturer and Special Guest of Honour, for his “early signs of promise” in terms of “significant strides, bold statements, and revolutionary steps in healthcare and also infrastructure”.

Dakuku also extolled AMLSN for bringing healthcare issues to the forefront of the national discourse.

In his address at the event, Ebonyi State Chairman of AMLSN, Emmanuel Okeh, enumerated some of the achievements of the governor in the healthcare sector to include procurement of 20 brand new ambulances for public health institutions in the state; upgrade and comprehensive renovation of 15 new general hospitals; and hiring of 200 medical doctors, in addition to nurses, pharmacists, and medical laboratory scientists for the state’s health system.

Okeh listed other feats by Nwifuru, who will be marking his first anniversary on May 29,

as ⁠purchase and distribution of Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) to all medical doctors in the state; acquisition of new set of medical and radiology equipment for health facilities in the state; setting up of intensive care unit; ⁠award of over 200 overseas scholarships to medical personnel in the state to pursue post-graduate studies; and ⁠approval for purchase of vaccines.

AMLSN is the professional association for registered Medical Laboratory Scientists practising in Nigeria. Its mission is to lead and advocate the advancement of global best practices in the Medical Laboratory Science profession and national health services in the country.