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Ebola: Lab Scientists Task FG on Developing Local Vaccines — Reject professional segregation in health

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By Temitope Adedeji, Akure
Medical Laboratory Scientists in Nigeria have
called on the Federal Government to build on
the gains of the fight to contain the Ebola Virus
Disease by strengthening medical Laboratory
infrastructure within the country.
They also rejected what they referred to as
“professional supremacy” which had pitched
them against the Nigerian Medical Association
(NMA) and other professional bodies in the
sector.
President of the Association of Medical
Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN), Dr.
Godswill Okara, made the ascertion to the
media at its week long Annual Scientific
Conference in Akure on Tuesday.
Hr said: “As the world grapples with the
outbreak of Ebola Virous Disease, medical
laboratory scientists in Nigeria should rise to
the occasion through research and vaccine
development against the disease.”
He noted that it took the quick intervention of
laboratory scientists to determine the cause of
death of Patrick Sawyer, the first Ebola case in
Nigeria.
He said the Federal Government should
replicate the approach to containing Ebola
towards building the needed infrastructure at
improving the practice of laboratory science,
arguing that it was the only way forward.
“The doctrine of professional supremacy is as
evil as the doctrine of racial supremacy.
Professional understanding is not something
that we will find ready-made; it must be created
by the fact of contact.
“We must commit ourselves positively and
actively to the ideal of professional integration
not only in the health sector, but also across all
professional sectors in Nigeria.
“The society and humanity which professionals
are trained and licensed to serve will certainly
be better served through such i ntegration,” Dr. Okara said.
He called on the Federal and State Governments
to establish departments of medical laboratory
services in their ministries of health in order to
give effect to the fight against ailments like
Ebola and stimulate the development of
vaccines against such diseases.
“Unhealthy rivalry is not unacceptable. The sky
is big enough for stars. You do not need to pull
down somebody in order to rise,” he said.
Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko,
who was represented by his deputy, Alhaji Ali
Olanusi, in his remarks, said his government
was committed to improving medical
laboayratory services in the state.
According to him, his administration has
invested heavily in the provision of healthcare
For the people, such as the mother and child
hospitals and the proposed medical village in
Ondo.

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