By Olusegun Hakeem Adebumiti, Akure.
Prof. Abdulwasiu Hassan of the Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Achievers University, Owo, says medical laboratory scientists in the country had sleepless nights during the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Prof. Hassan stated this on Wednesday, February 16, while delivering the 4th inaugural lecture of the University, titled, “From Wet to Dry Lab: Exploring the Microbial World for a Healthier Nation.”
The Don added that during the lockdown, medical laboratory scientists were able to document the overview of COVID-19, its impact on developing countries’ fragile health care system and the level of preparedness for the pandemic.
He said they were able to formulate, design, prepare and standardized Viral Transport Medium (VTM) in the house during the lockdown, which was later donated to Osun, Oyo and Imo States.
The Don’s one-hour lecture also reiterated the need for the current curriculum of Medical Laboratory Science in Nigeria to be reviewed.
“The curriculum cannot meet the challenges of Medical Laboratory practice of the future to be honest with you. I concur with the current call do integrated teaching where our students (MLS students) will be exposed to the clinics posting very early in their training. However, the content of molecular biology, genetics, medical genetics, bioinformatics and their application should be increased.
“I know that the National Universities Commission (NUC) is planning toward this direction and approval of MLS (D) for our programmes in Nigeria Universities in conjunction with MLSCN. The curricula have to be upgraded holistically and the content increased appropriately,” he said.
Prof. Hassan then enjoined the Federal Government through the NUC to include contents in dry laboratory towards achieving desired goals.
“We cannot be doing the same thing the same way and expect the same results. Therefore, there must be a considerable handshake between dry and wet laboratories for us to be at par with global movement in Medical Laboratory practice.
“I advocate as a recommendation that government at all levels should establish more sophisticated laboratories in line with global best practices in Medical Laboratory and ensure adequate training and remuneration of personnel involved in Medical Laboratory diagnosis.
“With this, we can adequately take advantage of current blend in the use of wet and dry laboratories for prompt and accurate diagnosis of diseases to engender healthier society,” Hassan concluded.