Joseph Ekumankama, Minister of State for Health on Saturday said the Federal Government would shut down unregistered medical laboratories in the country.
Joseph Ekumankama said this as he charged the management and staff of the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria not to relent or rest on their oars in the discharge of their statutory duties.
Ekumankana gave this charge when members of the Council led by the Registrar, Dr. Tosan Erhabor, paid him a courtesy visit at the Ministry of Health Headquarters in Abuja.
In a statement made available by the Ministry of Health on Saturday by the Director of Press, Ahmed Chindaya, the minister noted that policies would be formulated to ensure smooth running of the council.
The statement partly read, “The minister, who was appreciative of the visit, assured the team of the support and backing of the ministry in accomplishing the mandate and responsibilities of the Council.
“He said if need be, policies would be formulated to help carry out their functions, smoothly geared towards achieving the mandate of Mr. President in the health sector.
“Do not relent on your good work, push more, do more, do not relax, spend more time working in order to give your best. Be rest assured that where you need us to come in, to support you, we will.”
“In response to issues and request raised by the Council, the minister said that he believed that imbibed in the “Act”, that governs the Council were powers enabling them to regulate laboratories in hospitals across the country, hence nothing should restrain or constrain them from doing that.
“Moving forward, all hospitals under the Federal Ministry of Health will be the first set of hospitals to implement the full provisions of the law, which will be followed by laboratories in the state hospitals. With this, the minister said, medical laboratories not registered with the MLSCN will be shut down.”
“On validation of In Vitro Diagnostics before use in Nigeria, the minister informed that since there was a mandate backed by law, the MLSCN had the support of the Ministry of Health to fully monitor, implement and enforce everything that had to do with the regulation of laboratory products. In regards to non-registration by government agencies, that would be resolved by the ministry.
“On the issue of External Quality Assurances, henceforth, all laboratories must follow due process and ensure that they are registered with the MLSCN or risk being shut down as well.
“Ekumankama went further to admonish them to apply caution in the course of carrying out their mandate ensuring that they work under the purview of the law. Earlier, the Registrar, MLSCN, Dr. Tosan Erhabor, while congratulating the Minister on his appointment, informed him that the MLSCN which is a Federal State Agency of the Federal Ministry of Health, was mandated to regulate Medical Laboratory Science profession in Nigeria. He went further to highlight some of its functions which include: Regulation of Medical Laboratory Science Practice through setting of standards.”