Gombe AMLSN reacts to WikkiTimes Genotype Scam Report

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Gombe State Hospitals Chapter of the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN) leadership has reacted to the investigation by a WikkiTimes reporter which allegedly  ‘exposes how hospital laboratories issue fake genotype certificates for a token, sometimes even free.’

 

Read the rejoinder by the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN), Gombe State Hospitals Chapter below:

 

“Attention of the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN), Gombe State Hospitals Chapter, has been drawn to a publication in WikkiTimes, of September 25, 2022, authored by Hafsah Ibrahim Muhammad, captioned: “INVESTIGATION: Genotype Scam: How Health Workers in Gombe Issue Fake Genotype Certificates for a Token“.

 

While we sympathize with the victims of this nefarious act by quacks, we would like to assure the general public that we will work closely with the relevant authorities to prosecute these crimes to a logical conclusion.

Genotype results obtained by the wikkitimes reporter. Credit wikkitimes

We equally want to commend the author of this investigative journalism for baring the activities of these quacks, and lending a voice to our cries for years, on the need to amend the Gombe State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (GSPHCDA) Act, to make provisions for the establishment of a functional Department of Medical Laboratory Services. Indeed, the importance of investigative journalism in uncovering the truth cannot be overstated.

 

However, to put the record straight, and to educate the general public, AMLSN wishes to make the following clarifications: 

 

  1. Medical Laboratory Scientists are the only healthcare professionals licensed to independently carry out medical laboratory investigations for the purposes of prevention, diagnosis, treatment, monitoring of patients, and research. Medical laboratory technicians and assistants who are also registered by the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (National Medical Laboratory Accreditation Agency) are permitted to carry out certain activities in the medical laboratories under the supervision of qualified medical laboratory scientists. Thus, any other personnel carrying out medical laboratory tests is deemed a quack!

 

Further, the Rules of Professional Conduct, along with the Minimum Practice Standards and Regulations, defines professionalism in the practice of medical laboratory science. Hence,  medical laboratory scientists demonstrate an application of their ethical obligations through their professional and personal conduct.

 

  1. The primary healthcare centres (PHC) in the state are under the purview of the Gombe State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (GSPHCDA). 

 

  1. There is no Department of Medical Laboratory Services to effectively and efficiently coordinate the activities of medical laboratory professionals at that level. Thus, most of the workers are not even qualified medical laboratory professionals.

 

  1. AMLSN has on several occasions called the attention of GSPHCDA to facilitate the creation of the Department of Medical Laboratory Services to ensure the provision of quality medical laboratory services for the citizens of the state at the level of PHC, being that PHC is the “front door” of the health system and provides the foundation for the strengthening of the essential public health services. However, till date, this issue has not been addressed, unfortunately.

 

  1. It is evident from the report that all the quackery was perpetrated at the primary healthcare centers and some private health establishments where our medical laboratories are often manned by unqualified professionals. 

 

Furthermore, it is important to note that the aims of primary health care overlap with those of universal health coverage, which aims to ensure access to essential health services and safe, effective, and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all people. All these would not be achievable in the absence of quality medical laboratory services, since the practice of modern medicine is evidence-based, and research has put it that up to 70% of clinical decisions are informed by data from medical laboratories.

 

Conclusion

 

Accordingly, AMLSN wishes to call on the general public to be wary of quacks parading as medical laboratory professionals. Also, they should boldly request or look out for the MLSCN logo when accessing the services of a medical laboratory whether located in a clinic/hospital or a private facility.

 

Secondly, for the umpteenth time, we call on the attention of the Gombe State Government to amend the GSPHCDA Act and other relevant healthcare Acts to make for the inclusion of medical laboratory services for the benefit of the citizenry. 

 

Finally, we wish to draw the attention of the proprietors of private healthcare facilities to eschew the culture of cutting corners by employing only qualified medical laboratory professionals to man their medical laboratories. Otherwise, the long arm of the law is bound to catch them.

 

Sign:

 

Lynn Maori

Chairman

AMLSN GOMBE STATE HOSPITAL’S CHAPTER.”