Failure to conform to the rules and regulations of the profession prompted the closure of 28 laboratories in Lagos State, Mr. George Olajide, the Assistant Chief Medical Laboratory Scientist of the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN) has hinted.
The council last week sealed off 28 laboratory facilities within the metropolis, as well as charged four persons who were practicing without council approval for quackery.
Olajide said that the council will no longer condone unwholesome practices that are not in line with the laid down standard of the council.
“The inspection started from Abuja and it was the turn of Lagos last week. The task force will go round all the states and the essence of this inspection is to ensure good practice in all our laboratories across the country.
“Your laboratory can only be closed if you are engaging in unethical practices, if you are operating without license or fail to renew, if you have not paid your prescribed fees, if your lab is not well equipped with necessary facilities and if you open a lab without a lab scientist permanently on ground. These are some of the offences committed by the closed laboratories.” He noted.
He stressed that the council is working tirelessly to ensure that all medical laboratories across the country meet up with the rules of practice.
“We are working towards getting international accreditation so we want all our laboratories to be of international standard so that if you pick a result in Nigeria and take it to Paris or anywhere else, it will be the same.
“We discover that if you go to lab A and lab B they give you varying results and when you go to a third lab to confirm which one of them is correct, you get another different result and that gets you confused. That is why we introduced the In Vitro Diagnosis (IVD) for accurate verification of agents. We also have a training called the Continual Development Programme (CPD) which you must attend before you are licensed or get your license renewed. All these are put in place so that the patients can get quality service for their money.”
Olajide stressed the need for laboratories to have scientist on duty every time and warn against having technicians in place of scientists.
“A laboratory scientist is in charge of a lab while the technicians are support staff who work under the supervision of the scientist. The council frowns at having technicians to take full charge of laboratories and we are working towards its total eradication. At every point in time, there must be a scientist and a technician in a laboratory. Some of the samples been brought to the lab are time bound and we don’t know the condition of the victim so there should always be a scientist on ground.” He emphasized.
He advised medical laboratory scientists to at all times uphold the tenets of practice so as not to be at ‘the other side of the law.’