The former Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has emphasised the role of medical laboratory science in the attempt to combat intractable diseases in the country.

He hinged his position on the fact that medical laboratory scientists occupied a strategic place in the effective detection, diagnosis, and response to diseases.

According to him, they were key to combating “emerging infectious diseases, like COVID-19, longstanding scourges, such as tuberculosis and malaria, and the growing burden of antimicrobial resistance.

Peterside who was a former member of the House of Representatives made the assertions in a speech he presented to open the 18th annual lecture and National Executive Council Meeting (NEC) of the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN), which took place recently in Akakiliki, Ebonyi State.  

Speaking on the theme of the lecture, “Mitigating intractable disease outbreaks through strengthened medical laboratory services,” Peterside who was chairman of the occasion, said the challenge of intractable diseases required the concerted action of the professional body “to find new ways to work together more effectively in pursuit of our determination to solve humanity’s most significant health challenge. And reflect on whether we should invest enough in research, education, and laboratory investigations to find the root causes and possible solutions to these rare health occurrences”.

The lecture covered topics, like strengthening laboratory infrastructure and capacity, leveraging technology and innovation, ensuring quality and standardization, fostering collaboration and partnerships, and investing in research and development.

He expressed hope that the outcome of the meeting would help in efforts to alleviate intractable disease outbreaks.

He commended the Ebonyi State governor, Mr. Francis Nwifuru who was the guest lecturer and special guest of honour, for his “early signs of promise” in terms of “significant strides, bold statements, and revolutionary steps in healthcare and also infrastructure”.

The former NIMASA helmsman extolled AMLSN for bringing healthcare issues to the forefront of the national discourse.

The Ebonyi State Chairman of AMLSN, Dr. Emmanuel Okeh in his address at the event, enumerated some of the achievements of the governor in the healthcare sector to include procurement of 20 brand new ambulances for public health institutions in the state; upgrade and comprehensive renovation of 15 new general hospitals; and hiring of 200 medical doctors, in addition to nurses, pharmacists, and medical laboratory scientists for the state’s health system.

Other feats by Nwifuru who will be marking his first anniversary in office on May 29, 2024 include the ⁠purchase and distribution of sports utility vehicles (SUVs) to all medical doctors in the state; acquisition of new set of medical and radiology equipment for health facilities in the state; setting up of intensive care unit; ⁠award of over 200 overseas scholarships to medical personnel in the state to pursue post-graduate studies; and ⁠approval for purchase of vaccines.

AMLSN is the professional association for registered medical laboratory scientists practising in Nigeria. Its mission is to lead and advocate the advancement of global best practices in the medical laboratory science profession and national health services in the country.


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