Medical scientists in the country have said that Nigerians’ obsession for medical treatment abroad would be drastically reduced if the nation had quality medical laboratories.
Dr Casmir Ifeanyi, National Publicity Secretary of the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN), made the claim in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Monday in Abuja.
“The Federal Government can end medical tourism by strengthening the medical laboratory system in the country. This is the only way out,” Ifeanyi said.
Ifeanyi, who commended President Muhammadu Buhari for committing so much to the health sector, called for a special attention to the medical laboratories if the nation wanted quality healthcare delivery.
“To boost healthcare, Nigeria needs a robust diagnosis system which gives correct diagnosis; nobody will travel outside the country in search of medical treatment if the ailment is correctly diagnosed and treated in Nigeria.
“People go abroad because they are not sure of the diagnosis they are given here since our laboratories are weak and not equipped. Once the laboratories are not well equipped, we can’t get a good health sector.
“We have had situations where people have been told that they have cancer, but when they go abroad, no trace of cancer is found in them.
“Many people have also died after undergoing surgical operation for an ailment that is not in their system. People just die because they did not proper have diagnosis,” Ifeanyi said.
According to him, if Nigeria has quality laboratories, the country can detect every disease or possible signs and symptoms of diseases and epidemics.
“We have capable human resources here; all we need is the enabling environment, infrastructure and facilities to offer quality services to Nigeria and West Africa.
“Medical indices rank Nigeria 52 in Africa. This is just because of our very weak and dysfunctional laboratory system. We cannot continue like this,” he said. (NAN)