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The Director and Deputy Registrar of Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria, (MLSCN) Dr Donald Ofili, has said that Medical Laboratory accreditation will soon be made compulsory in the country.

Dr Ofili made this known at a Scientific conference of the Guild of Medical Laboratory Directors (GMLD) in Lagos on Tuesday 25th of October 2022, calling on practitioners especially in the private sector to embrace accreditation for quality practice in the 21st century.

He said the only way to take Medical Laboratory practice beyond borders is to have a well accredited laboratory that will stand the test of time.

Dr Ofili added that, “Accreditation is something that will help effective practice. The accreditation I am talking about is ISO 15189 2012. This is something that will help to increase their technical confidence and productivity and it will position them at the front burner of the leading medical laboratory in the African league. As a laboratory, if you want your results to be accepted across borders, you must embrace accreditation.”

He explained that the public stands to benefit greatly from the accreditation because it will aid effective medical practice. 

He further explained that,” an effective and quantity result from such accredited laboratories can be used for patient management, clinical decision and policy making. It means that you can attest to the quality of the report that a laboratory is generating for patient management.”

Dr Ofili disclosed that ,” before MLSCN gets a laboratory registered in Nigeria, it must pass through requirements in our documents. We have a particular document that contains guidelines for setting up laboratory practice in Nigeria. Until you meet those guidelines, we can not register you for laboratory practice. We have about 4000 Laboratories in Nigeria in our  database practicing within the guidelines. However, we also have those not recognized in our data based which we believed are quacks.“

The President, Guild of Medical Laboratory Directors of Nigeria (GMLDN), Dr Elochukwu Adibo, stressed the importance of accreditation as the only means to have a quality medical laboratory practice in the 21st century.

He said those who are opposed to accreditation are ignorant,and against it due to poor conformity to standard medical laboratory practice, which have a negative effect on health care delivery. 

Dr Adibo added that, “accreditation is very important. If you visit any developed country, it is at the entry point that your accreditation will be demanded; they don’t want any error. We encourage every laboratory to embrace this international standard for quality service delivery.”

He said the purpose of the advocacy is to encourage every practitioner to join the moving train of world standard practice through accreditation for effective health care delivery in the country.

The Chairman of GMLD, Lagos State Branch, Adekoya Abimbola Julius said the government should encourage medical laboratory practice through policy and financial assistance to practitioners.

He noted that,” funding is fundamental to medical laboratory practice,the equipment and reagents we use in the laboratory are very expensive. The government should come up with a friendly policy that will encourage standard practice. Financial institutions should also provide credit facilities to aid effective quality service provision.”

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