Nigeria has been advised to pay particular attention to the diagnostic space in order to promote better health, keep the population safe and provide service to the most vulnerable.
The advice was given by former Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole on Thursday, 22 July, 2021, at the ISO15189 Laboratory accreditation certificate presentation ceremony to Access Basic Medical Care (ABC) Diagnostics.
Also speaking, Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora emphasized the importance of competent diagnostic laboratories adding that the federal government was able to respond to the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic testing and diagnostic through the use of private laboratories.
According to him, at the beginning of the Federal Government’s response to Covid-19, there were only three laboratories with the capacity to test for Covid-19 and they were government-owned public health laboratories.
“We realized that those three laboratories would not be sufficient for the pandemic response, hence, we started a process to establish more laboratories across the country. One significant part of the process was the engagement of private laboratories”, he said.
Mamora said the award of ISO Certification to ABC laboratory highlights the value of quality diagnostic adding that through quality diagnosis one would defect causes of diseases, support treatment, response and provide evidence-based data that can help control disease outbreaks.
“This is the strong pillar of our health security and with this accreditation we are even more confident in the services provided by the ABC public health laboratory,” he said.
The Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof Christiana Mojisola Adeyeye in her remarks at the event said having an ISO certification for a medical laboratory is a result of deliberate embracing of quality culture adding that quality and competent requirement is an international standard that specifies Quality management system (QMS) which was developed by the international organization for Standardization’s Technical Committee.
“I would therefore like to congratulate ABC for this laudable achievement, having gone through technical training, capacity building, audit exercises and lots of documentation training from the United State Pharmacopeia (USP) followed by the final assessment from Nigeria National Accreditation System (NINAS), data from ABC can therefore be trusted for medical decisions and treatment plans,” Professor Adeyeye said.
Earlier, Founder of ABC Foundation, Dr (Mrs) Florence Ajimobi said the establishment of the Foundation was due to her desire to see people enjoy quality health care. “Our drive and our commitment to provide equitable, accessible and quality health services for the people of Oyo State, its environ and by extension Nigeria, led to the journey that has seen us touch lives and make quality healthcare available and affordable to all”.
She noted that the certification is central in enabling ABC laboratory meet its quality systems and ensure improvement of its service delivery in order to provide the basis for better customer satisfaction, staff motivation and continuous improvement.
Speaking further, Prof. Adewole said having access to quality tests and laboratory services is like having a good radar system that gets you where you need to go without having to fly blind.
He said with the accreditation, ABC Foundation would uphold the expected standard as the certification is central in enabling an organization to meet its quality objectives and improvement goals that will in turn provide the foundation for quality diagnostics, disease management customer satisfaction, staff motivation and continual improvement.
Prof. Adewole noted that the use of accurate quality diagnostics is the first step in the development and implementation of strategies for treatment, control and in many cases, prevention of disease and outbreaks adding that their critical role in the health system has been brought into sharp focus by the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Dr Emily Kaine, the Senior Vice President of the United State of America’s global Health and manufacturing Services (USP) represented by Mr Mopa Esuga said the certification will have significant impact on public health within Nigeria. She noted that the certification specifies requirements for quality and competence in medical laboratories.
“It can also be used for confirming or recognizing the competence of medical laboratories by laboratory customers, regulating authorities and accreditation bodies. The certification therefore implies that data generated at ABC will be considered as reliable, valid and of International Standard. Therefore, such can be trusted for medical decisions in treatment plans”, she said.