Laboratory accreditation imperative for strengthening laboratory systems in Nigeria
The 2nd edition of Medic West Africa will be held from 16 - 18 October 2013 at the Eko Hotel & Exhibition Centre, Lagos, Nigeria and is organised by Informa Life Sciences Exhibitions.
According to Air Commodore EA Akinwale PhD, “Laboratory test results are the cornerstone for patient diagnosis and treatment, and the principles of high quality laboratory testing is the same anywhere in the world. On the whole, it is estimated that 60-70% of all decisions regarding a patient’s diagnosis and treatment, hospital admission and discharge are based on laboratory test results.”
The consequences of operating unaccredited laboratories in Nigeria include increased mortality and morbidity, misdiagnosis, which results in therapeutic failure and exacerbation of disease and resistance to antimicrobials. In addition to the loss of confidence in health systems and health workers leading to a decline in medical tourism, economic loss for parents, families and health systems; the waste of enormous human effort and increased burden for health workers should also be considered, as well as the over diagnosis of medical conditions such as malaria and typhoid.
“An event like MEDLAB Nigeria creates awareness for the identified gaps such as the laboratory quality service and accreditation issues. It creates room for brainstorming on issues raised with a view to proffering solutions, and draws the attention of policy makers and stakeholders to address all identified contemporary issues,” highlighted Dr Akinwale.
This year's event is set to double in size from last year. It will feature more than 250 exhibitors from over 45 countries, and cover 6,740sqm of exhibition floor space. Featuring both international and local companies, an estimated 5,074 attendees are expected to come together to do business. Products and services on display from the world’s leading manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors will include medical technology, laboratory equipment, diagnostics, orthopaedic technology, commodities and consumer goods for hospitals, and information and communication technology in healthcare.
“We are pleased to witness the 94% growth in space in the Medic West Africa Exhibition from 2012 to cater the demand of the growing industry,” highlighted Simon Page, Managing Director of Informa Life Sciences Exhibitions. “In addition, we are seeing growing interest from several country pavilions such as the United Kingdom, China, Taiwan and India as well as new country groups that have signed up from Egypt, Turkey and South Korea,” he added.
“The way forward for Nigeria would be to promote public awareness of the implications of patronising unaccredited laboratories. Additionally, a focused advocacy for laboratory experts to be represented at all policy levels during the program design is imperative. Also, we must ensure appropriate motivation and incentives for laboratory personnel, make laboratory accreditation a critical element of the laboratory policy and strategy, leverage the achievements of the PEPFAR Program in Nigeria, as well as institute standardised processes that promote accreditation of laboratories in Nigeria,” says Air Commodore Akinwale.
Running alongside the exhibition is a three-day CPD accredited conference programme and a vital platform for participants from across West Africa to gain and exchange knowledge, network, learn and share experiences and focus on issues that are relevant to them. It is designed as an educational platform for anyone involved across the full spectrum of healthcare including healthcare management, imaging and diagnostics, infectious diseases and many more.
The Life Sciences division is part of Informa Exhibitions and runs the Healthcare Portfolio of products including exhibitions, magazines, conferences and event management. The division prides itself on offering a range of marketing solutions for companies involved with the healthcare sector, particularly in the Middle East, Africa and Asia region.
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