Buhari approves N950m for molecular labs in federal tertiary hospitals

From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved N950 million intervention fund for the establishment of monecular laboratories in all federal tertiary hospitals.

This was made known by the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN) at the end of a three-day special general meeting(SGM), held at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State at the weekend.

The communique signed by the association’s National President, Prof James Damen, and National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Olusoji Billyrose, commended Buhari for the approval of the intervention fund

Damen, who read the communique said medical laboratory scientists were optimistic that the building and equipping of the molecular laboratories would tremendously help in mitigating the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as other infectious diseases.

According to the communique: “The meeting assured Nigerians and the Nigerian government that as medical laboratory scientists, who are skilled in knowledge and techniques of vaccine production, we are ready to start the development and production of indigenous vaccines against the novel SARS-COV-2 and indeed all other infectious diseases. A we need is adequate funding and necessary laboratory infrastructure.

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“The meeting urged the Federal Government to inaugurate the Health Sector Reform Committee in order to enable the committee expedite action on its agenda of principally developing the implementation of a Health Sector Reform Programmes for Nigeria, in collaboration with the state governments.”

They congratulated the new Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa, on his appointment and urged him to eschew professional marginalisation.    

The enjoined him to work with all professionals in the interest of the country in the collective quest to protect Nigerians from the impact of communicable diseases, through the coordination of public health preparedness, surveillance, laboratory, and response functions for all infectious diseases

“The meeting agreed that infectious diseases will continue to emerge and re-emerge at national and subnational levels. As such, medical laboratories must continue to reinvent their policies and practices to effectively investigate outbreaks with the view to containing them early enough before they progress into pandemics and international calamities,” the communique read in part.