By Emem Idio
The Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria, AMLSN, has accused the federal government of insincerity in addressing and resolving the lingering industrial disputes with the Joint Health Sector Unions, JOHESU, and other sister unions, noting that it portrays the government in bad light.
According to AMLSN, the inability of the federal government to manage the industrial disputes in the health sector is the reason for the migration of health professionals out of the country for greener pastures elsewhere and robbing the nation of skilled workforce in the health sector.
This was contained in a communique read by the President of AMLSN Professor James Damen after the association’s 57th Annual Scientific Conference and Workshop in Yenagoa the Bayelsa State capital, with the theme, “Medical Laboratory Preparedness for the Next Pandemic.”
He further decried the relegation of in-country research and development efforts and dependence on the importation of all diagnostic inputs and called on governments at all levels to ensure that laboratories are rightly positioned to begin in-country production of diagnostics test kits, vaccines and therapeutics, instead of relying on importation, according to him is usually challenged by global demand, travel restrictions and antigenic mismatches.
Prof Damen said: “Conference observed with deep concern the insincerity of government in addressing and resolving lingering industrial disputes with JOHESU and sister unions adding that it portrays the government in bad light and that it is giving health professionals reasons by the day, to migrate out of the country for greener pastures elsewhere, thus draining the country of skilled workforce in the healthcare sector.
“The conference observed that nations cannot effectively fight pandemics if they relegate in-country research and development efforts and depend on the importation of all diagnostic inputs. To this end, conference resolved that, medical and research laboratories must be rightly positioned to begin in- country production of diagnostics test kits, vaccines and therapeutics, instead of relying on importation which is usually challenged by global demand, travel restrictions and antigenic mismatches.
“The conference lauded Medical Laboratory Scientists and other healthcare professionals for their resilience in the fight against the notorious SARSCov-2 virus, noting that in spite of lack of motivation as demonstrated by the
government’s opaque stance on hazard allowance, health insurance, and provision of safety kits and safe working environment, Medical Laboratory Scientists, and indeed all healthcare professionals, have stayed true to their professional calling of sacrifice to safeguard the health of Nigerians.
“The conference agreed that infectious diseases will continue to emerge and 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 of containing them early enough before they progress into pandemics and international calamities.
“Conference observed that medical laboratory strengthening strategies must be
robust enough to make medical laboratories effective in response and resilient under pressure as the world is already experiencing syndemics in addition to the ongoing pandemic.”