Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria, AMLSCN, has urged the federal government to step-up scientific research on tumour micro-environments due to the growing threat of global tumor-related diseases.
This was contained in a communiqué signed by the National President, Alhaji Toyosi Raheem, and National Secretary, Surajudeen Junaid, at the end of the 52nd Annual Scientific conference and workshop of the association in Jalingo.
The conference which had as theme: “Wonders of Nature”; agreed on the need to step-up research on tumour micro-environments, in view of the growing threat of epidemics posed by tumours and tumour-related diseases worldwide, as members acknowledged that scientific research on tumour micro-environments must significantly be stepped up through inter professional collaborations.
Members called on the minister of health to integrate medical laboratory scientists into the Rapid Results Initiatives, RRI, and the Save One Million Lives Initiative for effective and desirable outcomes of such programmes as well as to prevent wastage of scare resources through the use of inappropriate professionals for laboratory screening and testing of people.
Also, the association noted that tumour markers are essential medical laboratory tests for early and rapid detection and management of patients with suspected cases of tumours or tumour-related diseases.
It maintained that adequate knowledge of patient’s micro-environments is essential for effective management of cancer cases as against the usual practice of general radiotherapy which often inadvertently causes more cell damage especially in cases of tumours that are resistant to radiotherapy.
They also noted that the shift from the consumption of natural to ‘junk foods’ by increased industrialisation and lack of regular physical exercise could be predisposing factors to development of tumours and other heath challenges among Nigerians.
AMLSCN condemned government’s delay in stepping-up Universal Universal Health Coverage and implementation of the statutory provisions of the 2014 National Health Act which prescribes a minimum of one percent of the federal government’s consolidated revenue as Basic Health Care Fund.
It regretted that Nigeria has never met the 15 percent total budget bench mark for budgetary allocation to the health sector.
They called on government to to ensure the full implementation of the 2014 National Health Act which aims at improving the quality of health services in Nigeria, adding that government should give priority attention and funding to the purchase of medical laboratory equipment and commodities which are essential ingredients for Nigeria’s attainment of Universal Health Coverage goals.
Members demanded for the creation of a Directorate of Medical Laboratory Services at the Federal and State Ministry of Health as recommended in the Nigerian National Medical Laboratory Policy since 2007 but commended Taraba State and all other states in Nigeria that have implemented the policy.
Conference berated the infrastructural deficit hampering routine diagnosis of histopathological samples in most of the public and private medical laboratories in Nigeria and called on government to upgrade medical laboratories in all public hospitals, clinics and PHCs in order to tackle the 100,000 new cases of cancer are recorded annually with over 2 million already recorded.
It finally called on government to implement all pending court judgments delivered in favour of medical laboratory scientists by the National Industrial Court of Nigeria NICN in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 to avoid anarchy in the health sector.