The Medical Laboratory Scientists in Nigeria has given insight on how the ebola virus ravaging Nigeria can be curbed. The Chairman, Association of Medical Laboratory Scientist, LAUTECH Chapter, Osun State, Adeyeye Adetunji Tam gave this advice during a press briefing.
Adetunji who gave credit to the Federal Government and its Lagos counterpart for fighting the dreaded disease however noted that it was not yet uhuru for Nigerians. He x-rayed the dangers faced by health workers especially the scientists who are in the forefront of carrying out the tests required to confirm a person an EVD patients.
“Medical Laboratory Scientists evidently play a vital role in the diagnosis and monitoring treatment of various diseases affecting human populations. In the prevailing circumstance, health workers have been identified as being at greater risk of contracting the Ebola Virus as they are the ones daily taking care of patients already affected by the disease. Already, Nigeria has recorded painful and highly unfortunate deaths of health workers in their attempt at saving the lives of their fellow beings”, he stated
He gave vivid details on why scientists are easily prone to the disease as “body fluids such as blood, saliva, urine and other body excretions have been identified as the main sources of human to human transmission of the virus. It’s noteworthy that these fluids are handled by Medical Laboratory Scientists on a daily basis. We are therefore highly prone to contracting the virus”
Adetunji called “on all Medical Laboratory practitioners in Nigeria to ensure strict adherence to the universal safety precautions in order to safeguard themselves. All samples and patients must be treated as potentially infectious even as they must ensure the proper use of gloves, laboratory coats, regular and frequent hand washing and other protective devices” while calling “on Governments at all levels to immediately provide health workers in Nigeria the needed vital safety devices and inputs to prevent the spread of Ebola disease. Emerging infections such as we are presently witnessing makes it a clear imperative for Government to upgrade our medical facilities and institutionalize operational public health laboratories in all the states of the federation. The public health laboratories must be managed by licensed Medical Laboratory Scientists, for optimum performance.
The association called on the FG “to institute compensatory measures in respect of those who died from the disease. Finally, these are very trying times in the history of Nigeria, nay humanity and as such we call on all our members to continue supporting the Government of Nigeria in the onerous task of mitigating the spread of the Ebola disease threat”