26th December, 2021
By Sunday Bassey
Prof. Augustine Umoh, the Akwa Ibom Commissioner for Health, said that he has closed 12 medical laboratories for allegedly involving in unwholesome medical practices dangerous to excellent health care delivery services.
Umoh made the disclosure to newsmen in Uyo after the Inspection Team sealed some laboratories on Sunday.
He said the clampdown is in compliance with the directive from the State Executive Council over sub standard services of medical Laboratories operators in the state.
The Commissioner listed offences of the sealed laboratories to include lack of Certificate of registration with the State Ministry of Health, Non evidence of registration with Medical Laboratory Council of Nigeria, lack of qualified Laboratory Scientists and other supporting staff in the Laboratories.
Others were the lack of Test Result Book in the Laboratories, no Laboratory Register, lack of personal operating license of Laboratory Technicians as well as unethical practices dangerous to medical diagnosis of diseases.
“I have received a number of complains with regards to medical laboratory facilities and practice and this is an attempt to correct some of this abnormalities.
“As a matter of fact, the state Executive Council has also received many of these reports and also directed that this exercise be carried out.
“So our intention is to use this exercise to give further directive to the practice of laboratory services for effective service delivery in the state,” Umoh said.
Umoh explained that monitoring of Medical Laboratories would be extended to other parts of the state such as Ikot Ekpene, Abak, Eket and Oron Local Government Areas axis of the state to check quack Laboratories in the state.
“We are going out on monitoring to make sure that Laboratory facility services in the state are in conformity with what is expected to the extent that the practices are at least of the best practices.
“We have started with medical Laboratories in Uyo metropolis but we would certainly extend it to all nooks and crannies of the state,” the Health Commissioner said.
The Head of the Monitoring/Inspection Team, Dr. Augustine Udoh, said lack of precision in medical laboratory test administered to patients resulted in poor medical diagnosis .
Udoh said such medical diagnosis emanating from defective Laboratory facilities could mislead Medical Doctors in prescribing the right drugs for treatment of various ailments.
He said one of the Laboratories visited was using a student on Industrial Training to work and issue test results instead of Certified Laboratory Scientist while others impersonate popular names of Laboratory Scientist in the state to defraud members of public.
“The clampdown on fake laboratories in the state would continue in the new year till we reposition their services, achieve health for all in completion agenda of Gov. Udom Emmanuel,” he said.
He explained that those laboratories sealed would only be reopened when their proprietors fulfill all conditions by the state Ministry of Health, including engagement of competent technical personnel in their Laboratory facilities.