guild of medical laboratory ditectors gmld
Nigeria has no more than 30 ISO-accredited laboratories.

GMLD: Nigeria Has Less Than 30 ISO-Accredited Labs

Health Sector stakeholders are concerned over the low number of accredited laboratories in the country, stating there are less than 30 ISO-accredited laboratories in Nigeria.

The stakeholders who spoke at the 25th National Scientific and Annual General Meeting with the theme “Nigeria in the Post-COVID Era: Role of Private Medical Laboratories in Surveillance of Emerging, Re-emerging Infectious and Non-communicable Diseases,” held in Lagos by the Guild of Medical Laboratory Directors (GMLD), include the National President of GMLD, Dr. Elochukwu Adibo; Head of Department, Medical Laboratory Science, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Professor Kolawole Oyedeji; and Registrar, Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN), Dr. Tosan Erabor.

They revealed that among the 30 laboratories, 14 received accreditation from the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria, MLSCN, accreditation service, adding that for a country of close to 200 million people, it is saddening.

They explained that accreditation is essential to the implementation of quality and competent services as well as to ensure preparedness for medical emergencies, particularly outbreaks of infectious diseases, urging other laboratories to get accredited.

The National President of GMLD, Dr. Elochukwu Adibo, said, “Every nation must have responsiveness and readiness for emergencies. COVID was a huge emergency. We all know the extent of the unpreparedness that happened. We don’t want to keep being unprepared for all these medical emergencies and pandemics that no one can control.

“Currently, we want to look at what is happening in Nigeria as scientists who see patients and handle samples daily. What is our role? Our role right now is that we must keep on with surveillance using scientific formulas and laid-down processes to monitor diseases.

“We want to see that infrastructure processes and policies accumulated in what we call quality management systems that are internationally standardized with ISO 15189 are continuously practised.

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“Key components of these are infection and prevention control mechanisms, which we have to keep practising constantly. For us as a laboratory, our continuous implementation of infection prevention and control, IPC, and all the standards will help us protect ourselves and prepare us should anything come up.”

Speaking, the Head of Department, Medical Laboratory Science, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Professor Kolawole Oyedeji, urged practitioners to embrace surveillance measures in the tracking of emerging and re-emerging diseases.

He said, “We are here because the Guild wants Nigeria and the public to know the importance of surveillance. This is necessary because of diseases that could cause a pandemic or epidemic. We want to look at what we should be doing to check for emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases.

“Currently, because of the lessons that we learned from COVID, it is important that we start doing surveillance of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. How do we do it? What method? How do we get it done on time, and the global best practice in doing it is what this conference is all about?”

On his part, Dr Tosan Erabor, who was represented by Mr Offutalu Paulinus, said: “Nigeria has less than 30 ISO-accredited laboratories, with 14 ISO-accredited labs within the MLSCN accreditation service list.

“This is a far cry from what is expected from a country of close to 200 million people. What this presentation and the theme of this conference intend to portray is charging our minds to go for accreditation to ensure that our labs implement quality and competent service so that customers can be more confident. What accreditation does is give assurance to the user of that laboratory. It makes them know that they are competent people implementing the right standards.”