The Scientific Council of Medical Laboratories strengthens law enforcement to eliminate quacks

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The Nigerian Council of Medical Laboratory Sciences strengthen law enforcement to shut down unregistered labs whose activities endanger the lives of many, said Donald Ofili, director of the agency.

Ofili, on the sidelines of the 6th edition of the ISN Quality Assurance Summit held on Friday, told reporters that anyone who sets up a lab must be licensed and hundreds have been shut down in Nigeria in because of the many operators who open laboratories without applying for the required accreditation. .

However, to set up an accredited laboratory, Celestine Okanya, Chief Executive of the Nigeria National Accreditation System (NiNAS), said that around 2 million naira is needed to accredit a medical laboratory in Nigeria, which takes 90 days.

Operators after obtaining a national license are also required by state laws to obtain registration from the state government.

ISO 15189, an international standard for medical laboratories, is regarded worldwide as a mark of trust placed in medical laboratories and proof of their dedication to providing quality service in all aspects of their operation, and operators are required to have it, Okanya said.

Okanya said less than 1% of Nigerian labs are ISO 15189 accredited, with some operators setting up offices in off-limits areas such as residential buildings and even at petrol stations.

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Ofili said labs should not be located in residential buildings because the pathogens being handled should not come into contact with people.

According to Okanya, accreditation of a medical laboratory costs between $3,000 and $5,000 in Nigeria.

Accreditation is the assessment of an organization to ensure that it operates in accordance with the requirements of a required standard or regulation. And few of the more than 4,000 laboratories in Nigeria are accredited.

Okanya stressed that there should be 100% compliance with the medical laboratory standard before accreditation, adding that achieving 99% quality level means accepting 1% error rate.

He said, “No medical laboratory should live with a one percent error, that one percent error can be a life.”

“Lab errors cost time, personal effort and patient outcomes.”

He further stated that the NiNAS has accredited 38 Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs), of which 25 are active at the moment and about 151 accessors have been trained.

In addition, 98 training courses on standards including ISO IEC 15189 were carried out, impacting up to 2.4852. He added that 1SO 15189 requirements are divided into two, namely management and technical requirements that reinforce the standard of medical laboratories.

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