Lab Scientists Bemoan Students’ Admission into Non-existent Programmes

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Okon Bassey in Uyo

The Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN) has condemned the admission of students by some Nigerian universities to do non-existent medical laboratory science programmes.

The National Publicity Secretary, Dr. Cosmir Ifeanyi, who briefed journalists at the end of the 13th public health lecture series and 198th National Executive Council meeting of AMLSN in Uyo, expressed worry that universities are running such departments without the requisite human resources.

“We have also noted with dismay the escalating cases of universities illegally granting admission to students into non-existent medical laboratory science programmes due to the lucrative nature of the programme.

“Mention must be made of the situation in Lead University and Kwara State University where candidates were admitted into non-existent medical laboratory programmes.
“These universities are anchored by not up to four members of tenured staff, without professors and without full complement of academic and technical staff.

“We urge the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria to blacklist or withdraw accreditation from all such universities violating the student indexing programme which was introduced to streamline admission and training in medical laboratory science in Nigeria. Activities of such institutions are undermining quality training.

The association said it is not comfortable with the churning out of half-baked medical laboratory scientists from any ill-equipped and inadequately staffed university.

“Accordingly, we urge the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria and the National Universities Commission (NUC) to consider a review of accreditation of all such universities, irrespective of the status of their accreditation.
“We call on the management of Kwara State University to address forthwith the issue of the over 500 students that were granted admission falsely into a medical laboratory science programme.

“We also call on the management of the Lead University to right the wrongs and address the deficiencies in their training programme else, AMLSN shall have no option than invoke all relevant authorities in the country to get Lead University to comply with the minimum standards set for training institutions for medical laboratory science education in Nigeria,” Ifeanyi stated.

The body described as alarming, the state of affairs in the health sector, which borders on the training and retraining of medical laboratory scientists across the country.

“We are particularly worried that the internship programme for fresh graduate medical laboratory scientists is still a very big challenge.
“We now have many who upon graduation are unable to find where they can complete their mandatory one year facility training to hone their skills for inclusion into the membership of the healthcare team.

“The internship is the mandatory requirement for their certification and eventual qualification to practice. Unfortunately, due to racketeering of the internship placement, countless fresh graduate medical laboratory scientists wait for years to secure placement for internship.
“We call on the president to keep faith with his promise of a centralised internship posting. It is a promise made by the government under his leadership,” the association posited.