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Most of Nigeria’s Medical Consumables Are Imported

Nigeria’s health sector stakeholders are speaking out against the country’s overdependence on importation for medical consumables as over 90 per cent of the laboratory consumables used in the diagnosis sub-sector are imported.

The stakeholders who made the call at the launch of the Informa Markets event series, “The West Africa Healthcare, Lab, and Pharma Week, on Wednesday, in Lagos, said one lesson learnt from the COVID-19, pandemic, is the need for the country to be self-sufficient.

The managing consultant of CUANU Consult Limited, Nonye Umahi, said during the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a global shutdown, even as she stated that the supply chain was disrupted, “Because we depend on the international community for our healthcare needs, we were at their mercy,” she added.

She therefore urged the Nigerian government to prepare for the next disease outbreak, by strengthening local manufacturers of laboratory equipment, consumables and In vitro diagnostics (IVDs), among others.

“There are thousands of tests done in the medical laboratory in Nigeria, on a daily basis. It is time we start local manufacturing of the equipment we use in carrying out these tests. Some companies have started, however, we need to build their capacity, so as to expand their production,” she appealed.

Sales executive, DCL Laboratory Products, Lagos region, Bassey Etim, lamented the dollar fluctuation, which he posited is grossly affecting the importation of medical equipment into the country. Etim cited an example of a client who wanted to buy malaria test kits two months ago at the rate of N14 million, “As of last week, the price has increased to N22 million, due to dollar fluctuation.”

The sales executive harped on the need for the country to immediately commence local production of diagnosis equipment to save the country from its depleting forex reserve while revealing that DCL Laboratory Products will soon commence local production of testing equipment.

These and many other issues were the reason the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN) is collaborating with Informa Markets to host Medlab West Africa in 2024, the MLSCN director & deputy registrar, Dr. Donald Ofili said, explaining that the exhibition and conference is an initiative, seeking to unlock the immeasurable potential of the medical laboratory sector.

“Considering the state of the health sector in Nigeria, it is imperative to fashion a new direction to enable the sector to grow sustainably. This is the time to bring in new ideas in terms of advocacy, research, and exhibitions, which is what Medlab West Africa (which will be held at the Landmark Centre in Lagos, Nigeria, from April 17-24, 2024), will achieve. It will be very impactful in terms of connecting with the right stakeholders to ensure there is the right environment in place for professionals and businesses.”

Amogh Wadwalkar, the exhibition manager stated, “The launch of The West Africa Healthcare, Lab, & Pharma Week is a significant milestone for Informa Markets and a testament to our commitment to supporting the growth and development of the healthcare, medical laboratory, and pharmaceutical sectors in the West African region. The week-long series of events will bring together the largest gathering of the West African healthcare, lab, and pharma communities to engage in meaningful discussions, explore innovative solutions, and contribute to the growth and sustainability of the region’s economy and beyond.”