Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Health has sealed 12 medical laboratories in the state over alleged involvement in unwholesome practices.
The state Commissioner for Health, Prof Augustine Umoh, disclosed this to journalists on Saturday.
Umoh said the clampdown was in compliance with the State Executive Council’s directive on substandard services of medical laboratories operators in the state.
The commissioner listed the offenses of the affected laboratories to include lack of certificate of registration with the state Ministry of Health; lack of evidence of registration with the Medical Laboratory Council of Nigeria; and lack of qualified laboratory scientists and other supporting staff members in the laboratories.
Other offenses include lack of test result book in the laboratories; lack of laboratory register, lack of personal operating license of laboratory technicians as well as unethical practices dangerous to the diagnosis of diseases.
The commissioner said, “I have received a number of complaints concerning medical laboratory facilities and practice and the clampdown was an attempt to correct some of the abnormalities.
“As a matter of fact, the State Executive Council that has received many of these reports has also directed that this exercise be carried out.
“So, our intention is to use this exercise to give further directive to the practice of laboratory services in the state.”
The commissioner said monitoring of medical laboratories will be extended to other parts of the state such as Ikot Ekpene, Abak, Eket, and Oron.
“We are going out on monitoring to make sure that laboratory facility services in the state are in conformity with what is expected to the extent that the practices are, at least, of best practices.
“We have started with medical laboratories in Uyo metropolis but we would certainly extend it to all parts of the state,” he said.
The Head of the Monitoring Team, Dr. Augustine Udoh, said lack of precision in medical laboratory tests administered to patients had resulted in poor diagnosis.
He said diagnoses emanating from defective laboratory facilities could mislead medical doctors in prescribing drugs.
He disclosed that one of the laboratories visited was using a student on industrial training to work and issue test results instead of certified laboratory scientists while others impersonate popular laboratory scientists in the state to defraud members of the public.
“The clampdown on fake laboratories in the state would continue in the new year till we reposition their services to achieve health for all in completion agenda of Governor Udom Emmanuel,” he said.