By George Onah
Port Harcourtâ€”Following misleading results from fake medical laboratories which have led to wrong diagnosis by doctors and subsequent loss of lives through such unreliable investigations, the Medical Laboratory Scientists Council of Nigeria has shut 24 quack laboratories in Rivers State.
About 64 of the laboratories were inspected and only 40 were given the nod to continue in their services, while those which paraded fake reagents, staffed by half- baked scientists, were put under lock and told to remain closed.
Director, Medical Laboratory Services, Ministry of Health, Edo State, Dr. Moses Aigbirior, told the press in Port Harcourt that the council was saddened by the rampant reagents in laboratories which may have caused the death of many in the country.
â€œWhen laboratory scientists use fake reagents, the result turns out to be faulty and when doctors use these faulty results, the tendency is that they arrive at a fake conclusion. This could result in wrong medication being given to the patient, which could lead to complications and possible death,â€ he said.
To counter the vice, Aigbirior said the council has strategized on establishing quality laboratories, variously to verify quality of reagents before being made available to hospitals for diagnosis.
He said it was regrettable that there was no policy which made it mandatory for health providers to embark on such venture, stating â€œbefore the establishment of the laboratories in the various zones, MLSCN would first organise training on how to detect and report reagents that produce false report to the bodyâ€.
On his part, Assistant Director, Inspectorate of the council Mr. Tosan Erhabor, frowned on the training of non-medical personnel in secondary and tertiary facilities in Nigeria.
Erhabor said:Â Â â€œOften times, top health officials direct non-medical personnel to be trained in the secondary and tertiary health facilities under laboratory scientists without passing through the normal academic process.
â€œThese are the same people who now parade themselves as professionals and go further to establish laboratories.â€
He said the inspectorate division would go round the country to check the menace of quacks in the industry, stressing that Rivers State would be visited every two months in its efforts at erasing the activities of dubious laboratory scientists.