By Appolos Christian
The Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN), has expressed deep concern over the ongoing Medical and Dental Practitioners (MDP) reenactment bill, warning that it will take actions that would have severe consequences should the amendment in any way affect existing councils in the medical and health community.
Rising from its emergency National Executive Council (NEC) meeting on February 6, 2021, in Abuja, the Association in a statement read by its National President, Prof. James Damen, stated that the National Industrial Court had already kicked against some content the MDP is trying to re-enact.
AMLSN president further called on the Senate President Ahmed Lawal to replace the sitting Senate Health Chairman, Dr. Ibrahim Oloriegbe, saying that he, during the last public hearing on the Bill, lacks objectivity and has so far displayed some level of bias in the discharge of his duty.
“NEC expresses deep concern over the Medical and Dental Practitioners (MDP) reenactment bill currently undergoing review at the National Assembly because parts of it are in conflict with the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN) Act, adding that what the MDP re-enactment bill is asking the National Assembly to do is what the National Industrial Court (NIC) in Nigeria has rejected from the eye of the law on many occasions. NEC to this end, calls upon the National Assembly to follow suit and reject the bill in line with the submissions of National Universities Commission (NUC), Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN), Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU), Assembly of Healthcare Professional Associations (AHPA) and the generality of Nigerians
“NEC wishes to call on the Senate President, Sen. Dr. Ahmed Lawal, CFR to immediately replace the current Chairman, Senate Committee, Dr. Ibrahim Oloriegbe, who doubles as the sponsor of the proposed amendment of the Medical and Dental Practitioners of Nigeria (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill 2020, in view of his clear lack of objectivity, clear biased and preferred interest on the bill
“NEC regrets that the Nigerian Health space has been turned into an acrimonious war zone by medical doctors whose insistence on leadership of the system from the hospitals to the ministries and to every health-related committee has created more harm and calls for unbundling of the system to have other Health Professionals ”man” these leadership position as history has shown that the system functioned better in this respect. Synergy among Health Professionals would help create a better working environment, which is important to patient-centred Healthcare delivery and safety. The leadership of World Health Organisation (WHO) as we speak, is under a laboratory specialist, with bias in Public Health, not a physician.”
On the expected COVID-19 vaccines, AMLSN said; Imported vaccines must be such that will be easily adaptable in our clime in view of our peculiar weather. The said vaccine(s) must also be subjected to in-country validation procedures to ascertain their safety and effectiveness in line with international best practices.
“NEC wishes to assure Nigerians that as Medical Laboratory Scientists who are skilled in knowledge and techniques of vaccine(s) production, we are ready to start the development and production of indigenous vaccines against SARS-Cov-Z in collaboration with other stakeholders and indeed all other infectious diseases. All we need is adequate funding and necessary Laboratory infrastructure.
“NEC commends the F6 for the passion demonstrated so far in up-scaling Laboratory infrastructure during this COVID-19 era as seen with the establishment of over seventy (70) Molecular Biology Laboratories in Nigeria adding that the Federal Government can take it a step further by re-activating Human Vaccine Production Laboratories in Nigeria as the world is constantly being challenged by emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases.”