The Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN) has expressed its members’ readiness to start the development and production of indigenous vaccines against SARS-Cov2 and other infectious diseases.
The association however noted that adequate funding and necessary laboratory infrastructure were needed to achieve this.
In a communiqué issued at the end of its 15th annual national public health lecture series and 204th National Executive Council meeting held in Abuja signed by the president, Prof. James Damen, the association urged the government to focus on local vaccine production, saying Nigeria could no longer rely on imported vaccines from international communities.
The president said the association was ready to support the government if there was commitment and political will on its part.
He stressed the need for the country to build capacity to address present and peculiar epidemics, noting that if the country had robust medical laboratories it would effectively investigate local disease outbreaks.
Damen urged the government to give priority to laboratory strengthening, especially at the primary and secondary levels of healthcare delivery.
He said; “As long as biotic and abiotic relationship amongst humans, animals and environment remains, disease outbreaks at national, regional and global levels will always arise and the best approach to dealing with the threat remains national and regional approaches based on peculiarities in climes, race medical laboratory infrastructure.”
On why Nigeria can’t make local vaccines, he said, “The reasons are multifaceted as follows: inconsistent government policies, overriding of national interest by personal interest, some prefer that Nigeria continue to import vaccines through translucent procurement processes, way of doing business in Nigeria.
“Lack of respect for integrity, disdain of quality, penchant for cutting corners, government bureaucracy and inconsistent government policy and poor basic infrastructure – power and water, etc. “
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