The Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN) wishes to congratulate all Medical Laboratory Scientists in Nigeria and in Diaspora on the occasion of this year’s World Biomedical Science Day (2017). No doubt, our profession continues to be very important in Diagnosis, Research, Training and Service Delivery. It is with delight that AMLSN hereby directs all her members to commemorate the day in the best way possible.
It is already a known fact that Biomedical Laboratory Science Day is observed to increase the awareness of the roles that Biomedical Scientists play in healthcare. Biomedical Scientists play an important role in diagnosis, quality development and quality assurance, treatment, research and development, and public healthcare. Therefore, the purpose for which International Biomedical Laboratory Science Day is commemorated annually is to give our profession a day to promote and celebrate ourselves. The theme is selected by the International Body (IFBLS) related with health issues and support the WHO Health related Sustainable Development Goals.
History of commemoration of the World Biomedical Science Day: The commemoration of Biomedical Science day by the World Congress of International Federation of Biomedical Laboratory Scientists (IFBLS) on April 15 every year was adopted in Oslo, Norway in 1996. The commemoration is to promote our profession and celebrate our important roles in diagnostic and preventive healthcare systems. It therefore becomes one of the WHO approved commemorative dates just as World TB day, World Malaria Day, World Diabetes day, World Water Day etc. .
The Theme for 2017 World Biomedical Laboratory Science Day: Last year, the theme was on ‘Patient Safety First’. This year, we are focusing on Antibiotic Resistance under the theme Antibiotic Resistance: Biomedical Laboratory Scientists Respond to the Global Threat. No doubt, due to poverty, ignorance and weak regulations in the various health practices, there has been use, mis-use and abuse of antibiotics in our various communities especially in Nigeria. The danger arising from this range from wastage of drugs (antibiotics), development of side effects some of which include damage to organs and systems, development of resistance by the microorganisms, prolonged hospital visits/admissions due to treatment failures and complications, loss of avoidable man-hours or economically productive hours amongst others. You will agree with us that these are global threats to human health and productivity. The uncontrolled use and misuse of antibiotics in animals’ feeds and poultry has further worsened the menace of antibiotic resistance.
The recent outbreak of meningitis, Ebola Viral Disease and Lassa Fever calls for all hands to be on deck in appropriate and faster diagnosis and chemotherapy especially the rational use of antibiotics. Imagine what the outcome of a drug resistant strain in an epidemic outbreak of meningitis and other infectious diseases would be! It is better imagined than experienced. We are already battling with emerging drug resistance in HIV, TB, malaria, diarrhea and other enteric diseases.
As a responsible professional association, we need to decisively respond to the threats and engage the community in advocacy, proper and faster methods for detecting infectious agents and their susceptibility testing.
AMLSN hereby urges all her members to see these as needed priority areas in curbing the spreading menace of antibiotic resistance. We should always remember the WHO Concept of quality healthcare that places the patient at the centre of the circle with all the health professionals looking at the patient and thinking of how best to serve the patients with the best professional services possible. This should be the priority of all Medical Laboratory Scientists in Nigeria,
AMLSN therefore urged her members to use whatever method suitable to them at chapters, branches and national levels to commemorate the 2017 World Biomedical Laboratory Science Day. These may include visitation of patients, their families, blood donors, other healthcare professionals and our internal and external clients of the medical laboratory amongst others and engage them in advocacy on antibiotic resistance and the threats therefrom.
We should all make the day worth its while! We wish all of us a fruitful commemoration of this year’s world Biomedical Laboratory Science Day for enhanced quality health services to the people.
Lastly, let me also use the medium to call on you all to rise up to the current challenge of cerebrospinal meningitis type C that is claiming lives in our country. Let us see it as a call to duty once again. It is time to improve on public health awareness so that people will know how to prevent the infection. It is also time to update our skills on laboratory diagnosis of all infectious agents so that none escapes our radar and cause havoc to innocent Nigerians. In the midst of it all, let our focus be on research and development with emphasis on indigenous vaccine research and development. This will not only save our country huge foreign exchange but provide homegrown solution to our peculiar health challenges
Thank you and God Bless.
Alh Toyosi Y Raheem Dr Surajudeen A. Junaid Adeyeye Adetunji Tam
National President National Secretary National PRO