CHOs cannot hijack the duties of Medical Lab. Scientists – NACHPN

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The National Association of Community Health Practitioners of Nigeria (NACHPN) has said “CHO cannot hijack the duties of Medical Laboratory Scientists because their duties are completely parallel to each other”.

According to a press release by NACHPN Publicity Secretary Abayomi Great “the only investigation duties carried out by CHO’s are primarily, which is under their scopes as enshrined in the establishment act”.

The Press Release reads in full:

“We write in response to the recent publication suggesting that Medical Lab Scientists oppose the Community Health Officers’ (CHOs) plans to assume certain duties. It is crucial to clarify that CHOs are trained to carry out various aspects of primary healthcare services, aligning with the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

CHO cannot hijack the duties of Medical Laboratory Scientists because their duties are completely parallel to each other. The only investigation duties carried out by CHO’s are primarily, which is under their scopes as enshrined in the establishment act.

The proposed scheme of service for CHOs is not introducing new duties; rather, it expands the scope and redesignates cadres in the profession. This adjustment is in line with the circular released by the federal ministry of establishment in 2020. The criticism from the AMLSN president appears misguided, reflecting a lack of understanding of the core principles and functions of the primary health service delivery system.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, CHOs played pivotal roles, ranging from home rounds and visitations including community advocacy to training on precautions and supporting home care management for patients. Their contribution to vaccination efforts is undeniable and has been acknowledged by various health sectors, including public and private entities in Nigeria and the WHO.

We encourage the AMLSN President to delve into the composition of public health and primary healthcare systems and explore the job description for Community Health Practice. This knowledge will provide a more informed perspective, fostering effective leadership. As Professional Primary Healthcare Managers, we adhere strictly to our scope and limitations, guided by code of conduct.

The National Association of Community Health Practitioners of Nigeria (NACHPN) President will engage with the AMLSN to discuss these matters further. Both organizations, despite occasional disagreements, maintain an amicable relationship within the broader healthcare ecosystem, recognizing our shared commitment to public health.”

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