MLSCN cracks down on quackery: Inspects 103 labs, seals 23



Dr Tosan Erhabor

Dr Tosan Erhabor,  registrar, Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN) said that the council inspected 103 new laboratories, sealed 23 others and arrested six quacks from May 2023 till date.

Erhabor told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the council has made significant efforts to check quackery and to ensure credible medical diagnosis in the last one year.

He said that these promoted professionalism among medical laboratory scientists, reduced quackery, thus assuring quality and reliable test results.

According to him, registration and inspection of medical laboratories is one of the core mandates of the council to ensure medical laboratories meet the pre-approval requirements of the council.

Others, he said, are to conduct routine monitoring and inspection for compliance to standard of practice and apprehend, prosecute quacks and discipline professionals involved in unwholesome and substandard practices.

On education he said the council conducted routine assessment of universities offering Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science (BMLS) programme and Colleges of Health Technology (CHTS) offering Medical Laboratory Technicians (ML) programme.

Erhabor said that the council used structured resource verification and accreditation checklists, in line with the council minimum academic standard (BMAS) to conduct the routine assessment.

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These resource verification and accreditation assessments were done with a view to assessing the manpower, equipment, infrastructure available for teaching, provision of diagnostic services, research and development at those institutions” he said.

According to him the impact of this is upon graduation and induction, as more qualified and competent medical laboratory professionals will be available to man Nigeria's health laboratory subsector, thus checking quackery and ensuring credible medical diagnosis.

Also, for licensure of medical laboratory practitioners, he said in an effort to check quackery and ensure credible medical diagnosis, the council insisted through institutional compliance monitoring that only registered ones conduct medical laboratory investigations.

The registrar said that the council also ensured that licensed medical laboratory scientists and medical laboratory technicians conduct investigations in both public and private medical laboratory facilities across the country.

This guarantees competence in medical laboratory practice and External Quality Assessment/Proficiency Testing (EQA/P).Erhabor said.

According to him, the council has pursued the implementation of National Quality Management System policy of 2020 formulated by the governing board of the council.

“This policy provides that the minimal requirement for the operation of medical laboratory practice in Nigeria is a demonstrable evidence of Quality Management System implementation with a mandatory participation in External Quality Assessment through inter-laboratory comparison,” he said.

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Furtherance to this, he said that from May 2023 to date, council has conducted two External Quality Assessment (EQA) test events with increased number of laboratory enrolment from 1000 to 1590.

Erhabor said that the council established Proficiency Testing Corrective Action Team (PT-CAT) and embarked on Corrective Action visits to Proficiency Testing poor performing laboratories in the six geo-political zones of the Country.

The council also leveraged on funding from United States Centre for Disease control through the African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM), he added.

The registrar said that the council has achieved the re-accreditation of the National External Quality Assessment Laboratory (NEQAL) to ISO 17043:2010.

“All these have helped reduce the number of errors emanating from health laboratory sub-Sector thus ensuring credible medical diagnosis.

He said for medical laboratory equipment calibration in sustaining quality in laboratory diagnosis, the council with support from CDC and Institute for Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) promoted accuracy test measurements and laboratory equipment performance.

This, he said, was done through the setting up of the National Laboratory Equipment Calibration Centre (NaLECC) in Abuja with international accreditation.

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The services of this centre has reduced errors associated with laboratory equipment calibration thus ensuring credible medical diagnosis,” he said.

For In-Vitro Diagnostics (IVDs) regulation, he said that within the period under review, the council owned Public Health In-vitro Diagnostics Control Laboratory in Yaba, Lagos, set up in pursuant of the council’s statutory mandate to regulate the production.

To regulate importation, sale and stocking of diagnostic laboratory reagents and chemicals with the ultimate goal of checking quackery and ensuring credible medical diagnosis, the council registered new companies.

He added that the council issued several import permits, carried out post market validation, medical laboratory equipment, reagents and Rapid Test kits.

“These have impacted positively on the quality of test results emanating from medical laboratories and helped to check the proliferation of sub-standard test kits propagated by quacks in the Country.

“On Medical Laboratory Accreditation the council accredited three new medical laboratories to ISO 15189 from 2023 till date. This has helped to engender test results emanating from our laboratories on international scene as accredited by one and accepted by all popular maxim of accreditation is adhered to,”he said.



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