The Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN) has advised the Federal Government to focus on local production of vaccines to curtail outbreak of meningitis and other epidemic diseases in Nigeria.
Alhaji Toyosi Raheem, National President of the Association, gave the advice while addressing journalists on Thursday in Abuja.
Toyosi also stressed the need for government to pay serious attention to checking emerging and re-emerging diseases.
He said scientific evidence had shown that vaccines produced locally were more potent than the imported.
“In the past, the Federal Vaccine Laboratory, Yagba, with full support of government and adequate engagement of laboratory scientists to produce sufficient quantities of vaccines in the country.
“The facility was even producing vaccines that were exported to neighbouring countries,’’he said.
Toyosi, however, called on government to reactivate the facility, to boost the effort of the facility in addressing the challenges associated with vaccine production and prevention of diseases in Nigeria.
He said the last time Nigeria had serious outbreak of meningitis was a type A strain, noting that type C was now ravaging some parts of the country.
‘’As scientists, we know that there are up to 12 strains of meningitis; what will happen if we have a different strain next time.’’
He, therefore, urged government to engage stakeholders, including AMLSN, on how to address the epidemic diseases in the country.