A medical laboratory in Akwa Ibom State is using a student on Industrial Training to work and issue test results instead of Certified Laboratory Scientist.
The Head of the Monitoring /Inspection Team, Dr Augustine Udoh said this while answering questions from newsmen in Uyo on the booming business of fake medical laboratories in Akwa Ibom State.
Udoh added that other laboratories impersonate popular names of laboratory scientists in the state to defraud members of the public.
The Head of the Monitoring/Inspection team lamented that the lack of precision in medical laboratory tests administered to patients has resulted in poor medical diagnosis.
According to him, such medical diagnoses emanating from defective laboratory facilities could mislead medical doctors in prescribing the right drugs for the treatment of various ailments.
Udoh said: “The clampdown on fake laboratories in the state would continue in the new year till we repositioned their services to achieve health for all in the completion agenda of Governor Udom Emmanuel.”
He noted that those laboratories sealed would only be reopened when their proprietors fulfilled all conditions by the Akwa Ibom state Ministry of Health including engagement of competent technical personnel in their laboratory.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr Augustine Umoh said that the ministry has sealed up 12 medical laboratories in the state for alleged involvement in unwholesome medical laboratory practices inimical to excellent health care delivery services.
Umoh said this after an inspection team had sealed some laboratories, Umoh added that the clampdown followed the directive from the State Executive Council over substandard services of medical laboratories operators in the state.
The commissioner listed offences of the sealed laboratories to include lack of certificate of registration with Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Health, non-evidence of registration with Medical Laboratory Council of Nigeria, lack of qualified laboratory scientists and other supporting employees in the laboratories.
Others were lack of test result book in the laboratories, no laboratory register, lack of personal operating licence of laboratory technicians as well as unethical practices dangerous to medical diagnosis of diseases.
“I have received a number of complaints with regards to medical laboratory facilities and practice and it is an attempt to correct some of these abnormalities.
“As a matter of fact, the state Executive Council that has also received many of these reports has also directed that this exercise be carried out. So, our intention is to use this exercise to give further directive to the practice of laboratory services in the state,” he said.
The commissioner revealed that monitoring of medical laboratories will be extended to other parts of the state such as Ikot Ekpene, Abak, Eket and Oron to rid the facilities of quacks.
He said: “We are going out on monitoring to make sure that laboratory facility services in the state are in conformity with what is expected to the extent that the practices are at least of the best practices.
“We have started with medical laboratories in Uyo metropolis, but we would certainly extend it to all nooks and crannies of the state.”