Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Health has sealed 12 substandard medical laboratories in the state for alleged involvement in unwholesome medical practices.
The laboratories were sealed for lack of certificate of registration with the State Ministry of Health, Non-evidence of registration with the Medical Laboratory Council of Nigeria, lack of qualified Laboratory Scientists and other supporting staff in the laboratories.
Others were lack of Test Result Book in the Laboratories, no Laboratory Register, lack of personal operating license of Laboratory Technicians as well as unethical practices dangerous to medical diagnosis of diseases.
The Commissioner for Health, Prof. Augustine Umoh who spoke to Journalists in Uyo shortly after the inspection team sealed up the laboratories said the exercise was in compliance with the directive from the State Executive Council over reports of sub standard services of some medical labs in the state.
He said, “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 has also received many of these reports and 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 .”
The Commissioner disclosed that monitoring of Medical Laboratories will be extended to other parts of the state such as Ikot Ekpene, Abak, Eket and Oron axis of the state to check quack Laboratories in the state.
“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.
The Head of the Monitoring /Inspection Team Dr Udoh said lack of precision in medical laboratory tests administered on patients has resulted in poor medical diagnosis.
He said such medical diagnoses emanating from defective Laboratory facilities could mislead Medical Doctors in prescribing the right drugs for the treatment of various ailments.
He said one of the Laboratories visited was using a student on Industrial Training to work and issue test results instead of Certified Laboratory Scientist while others impersonate popular names of Laboratory scientists in the state to defraud members of the public.
He explained that those laboratories sealed would only be reopened when their proprietors fulfilled all conditions by the state Ministry of Health including engagement of competent technical personnel in their Laboratory facilities.