Lab Scientists Harp on Early Diagnosis to Curb Diseases Burden

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– As ACPN Ikeja organizes business seminar

Mr Maurice Etuk-Udoh, managing director, Healthronics Medicare, delivering his lecture at the first monthly meeting of ACPN, Ikeja Zone.

Medical laboratory experts have emphasised the need for accurate and prompt diagnosis to reduce the rate of chronic diseases, which they said is fast rising, adding that there is a need to conduct proper diagnosis and tests before any drug can be administered to patients  to avoid wrong medication.

They also called for adherence to best practices in the delivery of healthcare services to enable citizens seek quality healthcare and enhance treatment outcomes.

The medical laboratory scientists made the call at the first monthly meeting of the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN), Ikeja Zone, held at the ACPN National Secretariat, Ikeja, Lagos.

Mr Maurice Etuk-Udoh, managing director, Healthronics Medicare, noted that diagnostic service is at the forefront of any medical care, adding that before a medication is administered for any illness, the first consideration should be laboratory and diagnostic services to unravel the reason for the health challenge.

According to him, when a patient is brought for healthcare service, it is best to know what happened, and it is through diagnostic service that this can be unraveled. However, in a situation where the medical laboratory experts fail to do their job well or do it at all, the doctors, pharmacists, nurses and others won’t be able to achieve a good result.

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Etuk-Udoh also pointed out that early diagnosis is key to reducing the high rate of chronic disease among Nigerians, stressing the need to encourage people for regular medical checkups.

“Early diagnosis ensures that diseases are treatable and well controlled. But when you discover a disease when it has already damaged body organs, then the prognosis at that point is poor. For instance, when a patient present late, even the least medical condition around won’t be easily treated, and that’s why I am here to talk to my colleagues in the healthcare family who are pharmacists so that they can encourage people to check themselves out early enough as they are closest to the people.

L-R: Pharm. Sidi Rufai, financial secretary; Pharm. (Mrs) Vivian Ibeh, zonal coordinator and Pharm. Imade Roy-Ekekwe, secretary, ACPN, Ikeja Zone, at the event.

“Routine medical investigation is key. Such that diseases are picked out early and addressed quickly so the individual can have a good quality of life rather than allow complications,” he said.

Also speaking, Damilola Makinlolo from the Assurance Diagnostic Service Limited, noted that a medical laboratory or clinical laboratory is a laboratory where tests are carried out on specimens from the body which includes fluids tissues and byproducts to obtain information about the health of a patient to help in diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases.

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She further noted that medical laboratory scientists perform complex tests on patient samples using sophisticated equipment like microscopes, haematology analysers, spectrometers, Elisa, and others, adding that medical laboratory sectors include, chemical pathology, haematology, medical microbiology, immunology or endocrinology, and histopathology.

While emphasising the importance of diagnosis, Makinlolo said: “Without a diagnosis, medicine is blind; without a diagnosis, the capacity and opportunity we have to deal with diseases will be difficult because we will be misrepresenting facts and the patients will not be getting the right kind of attention.

In her speech, Pharm. (Mrs) Vivian Ibeh, zonal coordinator, Ikeja Zone of ACPN, explained that the lectures by the experts were apt, adding that laboratory diagnosis is very important as pharmacists, especially those at the community level need to start developing interest in it. “As pharmacists, we need to keep ourselves abreast of the development in the world of healthcare, and also we need to catch up with the rest of the professionals in the healthcare sector, hence the reason for the lectures.

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“Ikeja is the capital of Lagos State, so the zone being the most systemic and most strategic zone of the Lagos ACPN seeks to blaze a leadership trail for community pharmacy practice. When it comes to Drug information and Drug language, the patient-care role of a Pharmacist is unique and cannot be replaced by any allied healthcare practitioner”, she stated.

Meanwhile, one of the highlights of the event was the celebration of some outstanding members for their commitment and dedication to the association and as well as their contribution to the upliftment of the practice. To cap the celebration of the outstanding members, letters of commendation were read to their hearing and were given to them.

Mr Maurice Etuk-Udoh, managing director, Healthronics Medicare, delivering his lecture at the first monthly meeting of ACPN, Ikeja Zone.

A cross-section of Ikeja ACPN members at the first monthly meeting in 2023.

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