The Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria has expressed readiness to begin the development and production of indigenous vaccines to tackle coronavirus in the country.
The National President of AMLSN, Prof. James Damen, said this while addressing newsmen at the end of an emergency National Executive Council meeting on Saturday in Abuja.
Damen said that its members had the capacity to develop, produce and deliver on local vaccines that will tackle the SARS-COV-2.
“NEC wishes to assure Nigerians that as Medical Laboratory Scientists who are skilled in knowledge and techniques of vaccine(s) production, we are ready to start the development and production of indigenous vaccines against SARS-COV-2.
“This will be in collaboration with other stakeholders and indeed all other infectious diseases. All we need is adequate funding and necessary Laboratory infrastructure, ” he said.
He said that NEC commended the Federal Government efforts for the initiative in sourcing and strengthening local vaccine production.
He advised that incoming foreign vaccines must be further subjected to validation by relevant indigenous bodies to ensure its safety and effectiveness in Nigeria.
“Imported vaccines must be such that will be easily adaptable in our clime in view of our peculiar weather. The said vaccine(s) mist also be subjected to in-country validation procedures to ascertain them safety 399 effectiveness in line with international best practices.
“NEC commends the Federal Government for the passion demonstrated so far in up-scaling laboratory infrastructure during this COVID-19 era as seen with the establishment of over 70 Molecular Biology Laboratories in Nigeria.
“The Federal Government can take it a step further by re-activating Human Vaccine Production Laboratories in Nigeria as the world is constantly being challenged by emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases,” he said.
Damen said that NEC also expressed deep concerns over the Medical and Dental Practitioners (MDP) re-enactment bill currently undergoing review at the National Assembly.
He added that part of it were in conflict with the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN) Act.
“What the MDP re-enactment bill is asking NASS to do is what the National Industrial Court (NIC) in Nigeria has rejected from the eyes of the law on many occasions.
“NEC to this end, calls upon the National Assembly to follow suit and reject the bill in line with the submissions of National Universities Commission, Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria.
He noted that others were Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Joint Health Sector Union, Assembly of Healthcare Professional Associations and the generality of Nigerians.
The NEC, further demanded immediate replacement of the Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Sen. Ibrahim Oloriegbe, from presiding over the hearing on the health bills on the basis of alleged bias against health workers unions.
“NEC also regrets that the Nigerian Health space has been turned into an acrimonious war zone by medical doctors whose insistence on leadership of the system from the hospitals to the ministries and to every health-related committee.
“This has created more harm than good and we call for unbundling of the system to have other Health Professionals man these leadership positions as history has shown that the system functioned better in this respect,” Damen said.
He, however, called for synergy among Health Professionals as it would help create a better working environment and healthcare delivery and safety.