By Franca Ofili
The Federal Government has reiterated its commitment to providing quality, affordable and accessible healthcare services to Nigerians.
Mr Joseph Ekumankama,the Minister of State for Health, gave the assurance at the presentation of certificate of ISO 17025:2017 to the National Laboratory Equipment Calibration Centre (NaLECC).
Ekumankama who commended the centre for receiving an accreditation by the Kenya Accreditation Services (KENAS), said Nigeria was signatory to several global initiatives and committed to the health and development of her citizens.
He said the reforms implemented by the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN) on the health sector was in line with the efforts of Federal Government to reposition the health centre.
”This action will enable the federal government to meet the yearnings of the citizens for quality, affordable and accessible healthcare.
“It is indeed remarkable as the council has recorded such a milestone within a short period of existence.
”I am happy with the number of activities for quality service delivery and you are trying for excellence.
“The council is always attempting to break new frontiers albeit; they do not allow the ministry any breathing space, the milestones of course can only be achieved by hard work, creativity and foresight,’’ Ekumankama said.
Also, Dr Tosan Erhabor, Registrar of MLSCN, said the council would continue to create enabling platforms to support the facilities in accessing these services.
He said that the structures would support effective medical laboratory regulation for quality laboratory care, otherwise known as the MLSCN Quality Tripods have been put in place.
The facilities, he said, are first in West Africa and have also attained International accreditation.
“The quality tripods are the National External Quality Assessment Laboratory (NEQAL) in Saye, Zaria achieved ISO 17043 accreditation as a proficiency testing provider by inter-laboratory comparison and will be going for re-accreditation this year.
“The second is the Public Health In-vitro Diagnostics Laboratory in Yaba, Lagos for regulation of the production, importation, sales and stocking of diagnostic reagents.
“The laboratory equipment is also ISO 17025 accredited and just completed a re-accreditation assessment. This facility conducts validation checks on all in-vitro diagnostics produced locally or imported into Nigeria.
“While the last is the National Laboratory Equipment Calibration Centre in Abuja. The centre is equipped with funding from the U.S., Centre for Disease Control, Nigeria and Technical support from Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN),’’ he said.
According to him, the facility is set to calibrate ancillary equipment and ensure the delivery of the correct volumes of samples or analyses.
He said that the equipment are optimum and has attained international accreditation as a calibration laboratory upon satisfying the requirements of KENAS.
“This is actually the reason why we are gathered today to present the certificate of Accreditation to the minister and also to commission the NaLECC to full operations as an internationally accredited Centre.
Dr Mary Boyd, Country Director, U.S. CDC said that the U.S. Sub-Saharan Africa strategy was released with the intend to pursue four objectives, one of which is on health.
“The strategy has outlined the plan to build core capacities to prevent, detect and respond to infectious diseases globally, including addressing challenges related to diagnostics and service delivery that would enhance health security”
“This accreditation is the first of its kind in Nigeria and a major step towards our mission of public health excellence for healthy Nigerians”
“It is to positively impact on the region as it allows international accredited laboratories across West Africa to have their equipment calibrated right here in the region,’’ she said. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Auwalu Birnin Kudu/Sadiya Hamza