Former Head of the Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Sonekan, at the weekend, called on all Nigerians to join hands to build the country to an enviable height especially at this trying time of our nation,saying there is no other country we could call our own.
Sonekan made the appeal at the launching of a book on “Evolution of Medical Laboratory Science Profession in Nigeria” and special award to Doctor Raphael Akinyele Olajide Sonekan, Uncle to the former country leader in Akure, the Ondo State capital.
According to him: “If we successfully transform Nigeria to a great country, we would have left indelible footprints for the future generations to come”.
Chief Sonekan commended the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists for coming out with the book which is expected to serve as a reference material and a permanent record for members of the association and the public as well .
He also noted that he had to attend the events because of two of the awardees, Dr Raphael Sonekan, who was the first Nigerian medical laboratory scientist to graduate with the associate diploma of the United kingdom Institute of Medical Laboratory Technology in 1950, he will turn 95 in a few days time, he said.
Speaking further Chief Sonekan said his uncle was also the first practising Medical Laboratory Technologist at the National Veterinary Research institute, and the fist Black Officer at the National Veterinary Research Institute (VOM).
The other personality, he said is His Royal Highness Professor C.K Edozien, the Asagba of Asaba, who was a pathologist who pioneered the training of medical laboratory technologists in the state hospital, Adeoyo and the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan.
In his own speech, the immediate past President of the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists (AMLSN), Dr Godswill Okara said the advance in science and technology has opened new possibilities in healthcare delivery and human wellbeing that were not imagined in human existence.
Okara called on medical laboratory scientists to rise to the challenges and threat of global outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease through research and vaccine development against the disease.
According to him, if the Mr M.S.O Nwachucwu, the first president of the Association and his colegues could do it in the 1960s and 70s by producing millions of doses of smallpox vaccines used for the eradication of smallpox in the entire west African region in 1978 then the advance in medical technology should even help to do better in this generation.
The Association had organised a one-week annual scientific conference and workshop as well as an award to mark its 50th anniversary in Akure. The theme of the conference was “Enhancing Healthcare practice through science: the key to the cure”