The Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria, MLSCN, has sealed no less than three laboratories, including a molecular laboratory that conducts Coronavirus tests in Enugu state.
Making the disclosure in a press briefing in Enugu, on Thursday, the Leader of an MLSCN inspection team to Enugu state and the Acting Director, Practioner Regulation and Discipline Department of the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria, Mr. Greg Uchuno, said that the sealed laboratories were found short of standards set by the council in the operation of laboratories in Nigeria.
Uchuno said: “We have sealed over three laboratories, including a molecular lab that gives result of Covid-19. This sealing could be as a result of expired produce, use of quack personnel, or underhand Practices.
“We assure people that we are not sealing any lab because of lack of quantity of personnel, however, quality of personal could also lead to sealing of labs.”
Ochuno stated that the objectives of the Inspection exercise were to assess compliance with the minimum standards required to operate a Medical Laboratory facility in Nigeria and to ensure that medical laboratories generate accurate, reliable and timely results for effective treatment and management of patients.
He also noted that the inspection was to ensure that good Laboratory Practice, Ethical values and safety measures are complied with by practitioners and to stem the tide of quackery and unwholesome practices in medical laboratory science profession through the sealing of substandard facilities, arrest and prosecution of unqualified personnel caught generating medical laboratory tests results.
The MLSCN inspection team however commended some medical laboratories in Enugu State which they said operate slightly above average, while many others are operating below the minimum standard required to guarantee quality medical laboratory results.
“We noted the use of unqualified medical laboratory personnel to generate laboratory test results by some facilities while others operate under unacceptable facilities that compromise quality as well as staff and patients’ safety.
“Most of the qualified Medical Laboratory Scientists and Medical Laboratory Technicians do not have current practising licenses and work permits respectively. Therefore, the MLSCN cannot guarantee the accuracy of the test results they generate.
“Lastly, over 82 per cent of the inspected medical laboratories in Enugu do not participate in External Quality Assurance Scheme. This also cast shadows on the quality of test results they produce,” Ochuno disclosed.
He stated that the way forward was that MLSCN will within the next two weeks communicate the gaps and recommendations to all the inspected facilities and give comprehensive summary to the Enugu State Ministry of Health and other Stakeholders in the State.
“The facility shall be given a timeline to remedy all the identified non-conformities. All Non- Registered facilities with MLSCN shall be given a maximum of 12 weeks within which to get registered. At the expiration of the given time for corrective action, failure to comply would attract automatic sealing of such facility by Council.”