By Rebecca Ejifoma
A Medical Laboratory Scientist from the University of Lagos (UNILAG) Medical Centre, Abiola Fashina, has won N1million as the winner of ISN Medical Laboratory Scientist 2020.
Fashina was among the 10 finalists shortlisted at the grand finale which held at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.
While Anayo Chidobu emerged the first runner up to clinch N700,000, Yahaya Usman from Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital in Zaria got N500,000 as the second runner-up.
Flagged off in June, the award aims to recognise and reward the unsung heroes – Medical Laboratory Scientists – across the country by the ISN Products Nigeria Limited.
The award further aims to give clinicians peace of mind and improve confidence of patients in the health sector.
The Executive Director of ISN, Mr. Felix Ofungwu, said the award was to encourage laboratory scientists who play important and unnoticed role in the medical field.
He said: “For us in ISN, we always believe that proper management of any patient is achieved by the accuracy of the diagnosis; the responsibility of that diagnosis is largely done by the medical scientists.
“What they do is so vital, but go unrecognised. That is why we came up with the idea of recognising these unsung heroes of medical practice – the medical laboratory scientists.“
In his remark, the Minister of state, Federal Ministry of Health, Olorunnimbe Mamora, described laboratory scientists as very important components of the healthcare system.
Mamora, represented by the Chief Medical Director of Federal Medical Centre, Ebute-Metta, Dr Adedamola Dada, said Nigeria was able to make diagnoses of COVID-19 because of the Laboratory Scientists among others.
He hinted: “I’m happy that this company has taken it upon itself to recognise excellence. I am pleased with the very detailed efforts, processes, and the quality of the people that chose the winners.”
Addressing the top 10 finalists, Dada urged them to strive to work more to ensure that they remain at the very apex of the profession.
The Chairman of the panel of judges, Elochukwu Adibo, said the choice of the award would go a long way to encourage medical laboratory scientists in the country.
“This will help them dedicate more time, efforts to excellence, and conformity to laboratory quality management system (QMS) in line with international standard – ISO 15189:2012.
“Being the basis of which this assessment was predominantly made, knowing that such output will be recognised and rewarded.”
He further noted that the winner will be the Brand Ambassador of ISN and Medical Laboratory Science practice in Nigeria for the period.
Adibo, who suggested that the competition be made annual, implored other well-meaning organisations to tow this commendable route to encourage improvement of quality standards in medical laboratory service delivery in our country.
Meanwhile, the winner, Fashina, thanked the organisers of the award, his institution, and his family.
“This award will further promote the practice of laboratory quality management system, this will further give clinicians peace of mind and improve their confidence of patients in the healthcare sector,” he added.
While acknowledging that the ISN has planted a seed of greatness, he vowed that, “we will continue to save lives. We will continue to practice quality, and do all within our power to improve the life and well being of the nation through implementation of quality”.