Nigeria: FG, African Countries Collaborate to Improve Laboratory Services

Nigeria: FG, African Countries Collaborate to Improve Laboratory Services

BY WINIFRED OGBEBO(Leadership (Abuja)

The federal government is set to collaborate with other African countries to train laboratory auditors in a bid to improve laboratory services in the country. Recently, the World Health Organisation (WHO) released a checklist for best practices in laboratory auditing.The training which is to be organised by the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN), in collaboration with the Management Sciences for Health and the African Society for Laboratory Medicine, will draw participants from Cameroun, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Ghana.

In a press statement made available to LEADERSHIP by the Registrar of the MLSCN, Professor Anthony Emeribe, he said the forthcoming international training would provide an opportunity for laboratory scientists, especially auditors, to share best practices that would improve laboratory services and take it to the next level.

According to him, "20 auditors are to be trained in such major areas as accreditation, ISO 15189:2007 standards, SLIPTA checklist and audit methods - all in a bid to develop technically competent auditors who can conduct audits and provide mentorship and technical assistance to laboratory personnel."

He added that the training was also a follow-up from an international conference on quality assurance systems for laboratories orgainsed by WHO-AFRO and UD-CDC in Lyon, France, in 2008, wherein about 200 experts from 70 countries agreed to establish systems and strategies that would ensure reliability and availability of laboratory tests throughout the health pyramid in their countries.

Emeribe said, "Accordingly, WHO-AFRO has introduced the WHO-AFROA Stepwise Laboratory Quality Improvement Process Towards Accreditation (SLIPTA), which is to be implemented in all African countries with the aim of supporting laboratories in a step-wise approach to put quality systems in place and improve laboratory services.

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"Indeed, this is an opportunity for us to move laboratory services in the country to the next level, but for us to achieve that, we must empower the foot soldiers with the right skills."