By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
In its determination to explore new ways of addressing various health challenges and emerging diseases, the West African Postgraduate College of Medical laboratory Science (WAPCMLS) said it has concluded arrangements for the Induction/Investiture of Foundation Fellows and the 2020 Annual Congress of the College on Friday 21st.
Speaking while briefing newsmen yesterday in Abuja about the upcoming event, Dr. Godswill C. Okara, Chairman, Steering Board WAPCMLS said the program which will take place at Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja Lagos will last on the 23rd of February 2020.
He recalled that the World Health Organization (WHO) Afro Region made the Maputo
Declaration of 24th January 2008 and “called on countries and all partners to
urgently address the broader laboratory human resources agenda for laboratory
strengthening including training, recruitment and retention of laboratory
workers and their adeguate financing”, for combating and controlling disease outbreaks in the region.
“The task of raising professionals with the desired knowledge base, technical dexterity and capacity is more urgent today than when that call was made eleven years ago. The threat of emerging and re- emerging communicable and non-communicable diseases is growing in dimension both in our region and globally.”
Dr. Okara said the congress will feature the induction and investiture of two hundred foundation Fellows of the College drawn form Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’ivoire, Liberia, The Gambia, Togo and Cameroon.
“Also in keeping with the Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2013, other member countries of the ECOWAS will join the College whenever they are ready to do so.”
He said “the Board is aimed at providing a platform for human capacity building in our profession within the ECOWAS region.”
He said the programme which will be themed; “Role of Medical laboratory Professionals in the successful Implementation of Universal Health Coverage in the ECOWAS Region”, will also equip members with new ideas in the field.
“The keynote address on the theme would be delivered by the Director
General of the West African Health Organization (WAHO), Professor Stanley
Okolo, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire will declare the Congress open.
He said the College which has its Headquarters domiciled in Nigeria provides the platform for harmonizing the development of medical laboratory human capacity through hospital and industry-based post university training within the ECOWAS region.
“This will guarantee the provision of the required quantity, quality and variety of medical laboratory specialists to strengthen the diagnostic capabilities of our healthcare system in the region.The prompt identification and accurate diagnosis of disease-causing agents is a prerequisite for their prevention, treatment and control.
The Time is Now: The West African Postgraduate College of Medical
Laboratory Science to the Rescue.”
He said “the College is poised to change the narrative of unduly long delay in identifying the causative agents of diseases in our region, by ensuring that the complement of specialists needed in our region is available.
“We are also aware of the ongoing pandemic of COVID-19, or novel Coronavirus disease that started in Wuhan, a town in China, fast spreading to other countries and continents. Our coming together is for collaboration, cooperation and synergy within our profession and with other healthcare professionals for the benefit of our people
and society. It is not for rivalry or competition with others. Nobody should feel
threatened by our coming together. We can and will indeed work together and
harmoniously with physicians, pathologists, surgeons, veterinary doctors and all others in the health fraternity for the greater good of our people.
“We call on all members of the health fraternity to join hands with us in the College for the realization of the goal of synergy, collaboration and efficient service delivery in the West African region. The College will roll out a well-coordinated and integrated training curriculum and programme across the region to develop the required corps of specialists and experts in all the sub-disciplines of the profession.