Medical Laboratory Scientists Mourn Pioneer President


Medical Laboratory Scientists have been thrown into mourning following the death of the pioneer president of the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN), Pa Michael S. O. Nwachukwu.

According to information at our reach, Pa Michael S. O. Nwachukwu passed away few weeks after clocking the age of 90 years.
Late Pa Michael S. O. Nwachukwu was elected pioneer President of the then Association of Medical and Veterinary Laboratory Technologists of Nigeria in 1967.

Brief Biography of Late Pa Michael S. O. Nwachukwu

He was born in the 27th of May 1930 in Onitsha in the then Eastern Region of Nigeria. Started his education in Onitsha, but went on to complete Primary School in Benin City while living with his older brother. It was at this time he learned to speak the Edo language which he spoke fluently in his youth.
He gained admission to the famous Christ the King College (CKC) Onitsha in 1945 where he passed with distinction in 1949. As a young man his dream was to study Medicine in the United Kingdom; but this did not materialize because of financial constraints. He however, came to Lagos in 1951 where he gained employment in the Ministry of Health and commenced training as a Medical Laboratory Technologist. 

 Late Pa Michael S. O. Nwachukwu
He travelled to England in 1956 where he trained at the famous St. Bartholomew Hospital and the Hammersmith Hospital (RPMS) both in London. He eventually passed the final examination of the then British Institute of Medical Laboratory Technology with distinction in Bacteriology in 1958.
He returned to Nigeria the same year and worked in various capacities in the Federal Ministry of Health. From 1960 to 1961, he was at the Istituto Sieroterapico e Vaccinogeno Sclavo in Siena in Italy where he studied Virology. He thereafter returned to Nigeria and took charge of the Small Pox Laboratory in Yaba, Lagos for several years untill the war broke out in May 1967. This Laboratory was certified by the World Health Organization to produce  vaccines for both Nigeria and the West Africa sub-region.
During the Nigerian Civil War, he worked at the General Hospital in Enugu and later Owerri moving with the hospital and Laboratory as the war progressed.

At the end of the Civil War in January 1970, he returned to Lagos and later that year proceeded on study leave to the United Kingdom, this time at the St. Thomas Hospital London.
He returned to Nigeria after qualifying in 1972 and continued work at the Small Pox Vaccine manufacturing Laboratory in Yaba. All through his career after qualifying in 1958 he was involved in training of future Medical Laboratory Technologists at the Federal School of Laboratory Technology Lagos. 
He subsequently became the principal and was responsible for moving the School to Jos, Plateau State in 1978 as part of efforts to decongest Lagos. He worked in Jos untill April 1980 when he took appointment to set up a World Health Organization (WHO) Laboratory in Sanna, Republic of Yemen. 
After his short stint in Yemen, he returned home and retired from active service in Medical Laboratory Science. 
Untill his death, he is a fellow of both the British Institute of Biomedical Science and it’s Nigerian Counterpart. He was honoured with National Award of the Member of the Order of the Niger in 1979.
He was an active servant of God who has also received a Papal award. He left behind a wife, children and grandchildren.
He will be greatly missed. Adieu our pioneer president!
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