Medical laboratory scientists have called for adequate funding and necessary laboratory infrastructure to produce COVID-19 vaccines.
The national president of the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN), Prof. James Damen made the call while briefing newsmen about the association’s 204th national executive council meeting and 15th national annual public health lectures series in Abuja.
He said, “Participants wish to assure Nigerians that as medical laboratory scientists who are skilled in knowledge and techniques of vaccine production.
“We are ready to start the development and production of indigenous vaccines against SARS-Cov2 and indeed all other infectious diseases. All we need is adequate funding and necessary laboratory infrastructure.”
He said the country needed local vaccine production for local strains, adding that all citizens must be properly vaccinated and that the country should not continue to rely on imported vaccines.
Prof Damen called on government to give premium to laboratory strengthening, especially at the primary and secondary levels of healthcare delivery.
He said participants at the national executive council meeting also decried the systemic phasing out of medical laboratory scientists in most tertiary healthcare centres in the country as seen in the refusal of most chief medical directors to employ the cadre commensurate with a need analysis.
He said the meeting also advised medical laboratory scientists not to only have certificates of graduation but have scientific inventions in the form of test kits, vaccines, drugs and protocols in their honour. Research and development is the signature of scientists across the globe, he said.
While saying that Nigeria must build capacity to address her present and peculiar epidemics and disease outbreaks, the association said robust medical laboratories in the country would effectively investigate local disease outbreaks and epidemics.
“Participants affirmed that as long as biotic and abiotic relationships amongst humans, animals and environment remain, disease outbreaks at national, regional and global levels will always arise,” he said.