A medical laboratory scientist, Dr Adebayo Adegoke, has urged the three tiers of government and stakeholders in the health sector to strengthen primary healthcare services through the services of medical laboratory scientists.
Adegoke, a staff of with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Clinic, Port Harcourt, made this appeal during an interview with the press in Lagos.
According to him, medical laboratory scientists can play a major role in improving healthcare services, especially, in primary health centres.
“Most developed countries use medical laboratory scientists to aid preventive, diagnostic and prognostic tests which play a central role in modern medicine.
Preventive care, primary health care and acute care are all intertwined and interdependent elements of our health care system,’’ the expert said.
The laboratory scientist said that there was the need to include medical laboratory services in primary healthcare system in order to make the management of cases more cost-effective and be more directional.
“Laboratory scientists’ supports are critical for disease surveillance, control programmes, appropriate coordination and monitoring system.
It is, therefore, proposed that primary healthcare centres can be strengthened through services provided by medical laboratory scientists.
Also, the government should create the laboratory scientist section whose functions shall be the coordination of laboratories involved in disease surveillance, nationally and internationally.
At the peripheral laboratories in the model health centres, qualified medical laboratory scientists should also be saddled with the task of producing quality laboratory results,’’ he said.
He said that a proper surveillance with a sound and efficient network of laboratories is essential to meet the preventive, promotive, diagnostic, therapeutic and rehabilitative components of health care.
“Medical laboratory services will strengthen maternal and child-health services, prevent the spread of HIV/AIDs, malaria, TB, blood and blood products, parasitic diseases and diarrhoea diseases,’’ Adegoke said.