The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has stated that medical laboratory profession is an important part of healthcare provision.
He urged the West African Postgraduate College of Medical Laboratory Science and the Nigerian Medical Laboratory Scientists to ensure peaceful laboratory environment in the West Africa region in the line of duty.
Osinbajo who declared open the 2020 Congress of the West African Postgraduate College of Medical Laboratory Science (WAPCMLS) and induction/investiture of its Fellows in Lagos recently, noted the importance of accurate and reliable laboratory diagnosis in the prevention and control of diseases.
Represented by the Minister of state for Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora, he noted that medical laboratory services were a vital component of quality healthcare system and that they have continued to play a vital role in disease prevention, detection, surveillance and patient management.
He said: “They are indispensable partners in providing and ensuring optimal healthcare. As this new cadre of laboratory professionals is birthed in the country, I am expecting it will not only ensure availability of highly skilled professionals, but I also expect them to ensure the laboratory environment is peaceful.”
While commending West African Health Organisation (WAHO) for the establishment of West African Postgraduate College of Medical Laboratory Science, he added that it would harmonise the development of medical laboratory human resources across the ECOWAS region and Cameroon.
The theme of the Congress was: “The role of Medical Laboratory Professionals in the Successful Implementation of Universal Health Coverage in the ECOWAS region.”
In his address, the Director General, WAHO, Prof. Stanley Okolo said Nigeria and other African countries should intensify efforts to make medical laboratory services accessible through public-funded health insurance schemes, as the countries move towards universal coverage of health services.
He added that with a strong political will, the combination of diagnostic capacity, access to essential healthcare services will become available in low and middle-income countries like ours.
On his part, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, Mr. Lawrence Lawson said without quality laboratory services, no health system can be resilient.
“A health system without adequate and quality laboratory service is like a tree without root and a hospital without a well-equipped laboratory is incomplete and cannot be considered a hospital.
“There can be no universal health coverage without the appropriate investment in quality laboratory service, and that includes investing in the human resource, their liberty and independence to be innovative.”