It gives me great pleasure to be here today at the Dinner of the 52nd Scientific Conference of AMLSN, Lagos Branch. I bring you warm greetings from the Management and staff of the Council some of whom are your colleagues, but all of whom are proud of the leadership role often played by this branch not only in the larger AMLSN family, but also in the health sector.
For me personally, however, this is where I would rather be – with my colleagues and mentors and other highly regarded stakeholders. This occasion serves as a well-deserved icing on the cake for all the hard work that you have put in throughout the past week while hosting the main scientific conference. In other words, this is nothing but Finishing Strong!
Let me commend the current leadership of the branch, the organizing committee and other stakeholders whose contributions had ensured the success of the conference as well as the event we are now witnessing. But worthy of commendation is your decision to beam the searchlight on quackery as it affects the practice of Medical Laboratory Sciences. That theme strikes a chord with vision of the Council. Quackery is perhaps the biggest challenge facing Medical Laboratory Science practice in the country as of now. As we are all aware, “a person who pretends professionally or publicly, to have skill, knowledge, or qualification he or she does not possess” is a quack (according to Wikipedia).
We should also add that those of us who engage in unethical practices, cutting corners, shortchanging the patients and betraying their trust, and consequently bring our noble profession to disrepute are also in this axis of evil. Even more worrisome is the increasing number of those who fall into this bracket, their effrontery, and their antics.
As you may recall, the inspection of medical laboratories is one of the core statutory functions of the Council aimed at combating the menace of quackery among other vices. In recent past, this function encountered some challenges. The unfortunate situation created a gap, which the quacks who often act like predators quickly spotted and converted to their devious advantage. Some of our fellow citizens have paid dearly for this sad situation. But I am pleased to announce that the challenge has now been overcome.
As a prelude to the re-commencement of the inspection activities, we have articulated a comprehensive protocol, as well as Guidelines for the Registration of Medical Laboratories, which the Federal Ministry of Health has approved. Also Council would soon begin a three-month programme of advocacy and public sensitization involving both electronic, print as well as other contemporary media to enable practitioners and other stakeholders appreciate the imperative of the protocol and the inspection activities.
Ladies and gentlemen, these are onerous tasks as you can see, but please be assured of our determination and commitment to turn things around and bequeath a legacy of accurate and reliable medical laboratory test results to our fellow citizens. This I’m sure, is the desire of every true medical laboratory scientists in this country. The aim of medical laboratory inspection is not to punish or witch-hunt any person or facility. It is rather to encourage the culture of continuous quality improvement and the delivery of quality service in all facets and tiers of medical laboratory practice.
Therefore, I urge you all to join hands with the Council so that together we can build the profession of our dreams. Can we do it? Yes we can! I wish you all a lovely evening.
Thank you and God bless you.
(14th July, 2017)