Medical Lab. Council Inspects Facilities in FCT, Prosecutes Offenders

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Mrs Ini Edeh, the Deputy Director, Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN), says the council has inspected 99 facilities in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in an ongoing exercise.

Edeh said this in Abuja on Thursday during an update of the ongoing inspection of medical laboratories in the territory.

She added that the council inspected 99 laboratories, sealed 10, visited 13 but could not assess because the facilities were shut, arrested two persons, while two others were undergoing prosecution.

She said that the exercise is in line with MLSCN Act, Cap M25, Section 4 (h) and 19(d), laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, which provides the legal and regulatory framework as it relates to inspection and monitoring of the facilities.

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Edeh noted that the inspection, which commenced on Oct. 25 to end on Oct. 29 in the first instance, was to assess compliance with the minimum standards required to operate a medical laboratory facility in the country.

She explained that “the exercise will ensure that medical laboratories generate accurate, reliable and timely results for effective treatment and management of patients.

“It will ensure that good laboratory practice, ethical values and safety measures are complied with by practitioners.

“We will also stem the tide of quackery and unwholesome practices in medical laboratory science profession through the sealing of substandard facilities, arrest and prosecution of unqualified personnel caught generating medical laboratory tests results.”

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The deputy director said that in carrying out its mandate on inspection of medical laboratories, the council has specified checklist, namely adequate number of qualified medical laboratory scientists, medical laboratory technicians and medical laboratory assistants that have the current practicing licence or work permit, to ensure good result.

She noted that “others are demonstrated competence at specific test procedure via regular and documented competency evaluation and Continued Professional Development (CPD).

“Some others are adequate laboratory space and infrastructure that meets minimum requirement for facility and safety, regular use of Internal Quality Control (IQC) and participation in Proficiency Testing (PT) and External Quality assurance (EQA) to ensure that the laboratory processes are controlled.”

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According to her, the public can access information on the requirements through the MLSCN website: www.mlscn.gov.ng.

She said that the council, however, commended some medical laboratories operating in line with the regulations and were scored above average.

She added that gaps and recommendations to all the inspected facilities would be available within the next two weeks to the appropriate agencies and stakeholders as each facility shall be given a timeline to remedy identified non-conformities.

She said that at the expiration of the given time, failure to comply would attract automatic sealing of facility “and all sealed facilities shall remain shut until they are ready to regularise their practices in accordance with the minimum requirements.” (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

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