The Oasis Reporters
April 19, 2019
By Moses Gbande, Jos
The Provost, and Chief Executive Officer, Federal School of Medical Laboratory Technology (Sciences), Jos
Dr. Sunday Etukudo has called on the Federal Government and the National Assembly to increase budgetary allocation to institutions of higher learning, particularly to his institution to enable it do more in the field of medical research in order to meet its overall mandate.
Dr. Etukudo made this call in Jos, during the opening ceremony of a five day workshop on Research Methodology with the Theme, Advancing Research for Public Health Interventions.
He said unlike other countries of the world that are investing a lot on health related issues, Nigeria needs to do more.
According to him, ”The United States for instance spends $473.4 billion annually on Research and Development, China spends 409 billion, Japan $179 billion, South Africa $4.8 billion while Nigeria is far behind Sudan which spends $0.l8 billion.
“We in the Federal School of Medical Laboratory Technology cannot do without research and that informs why we engage good hands and invest more (our lean resources notwithstanding ) to extend the frontiers of knowledge to advance both national and global health in this regards. Our library is well equipped as well as our laboratories”.
Adding that the Federal School of Medical laboratory Technology (Sciences), Jos which was established by the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Health in I954 to train Medical Laboratory Scientists who would provide accurate diagnosis and monitoring at treatment to reduce the morbidity and mortality rate and significantly increase the life expectancy and quality of life in Nigerians. It became operational in 1958 to primanly train Medical Laboratory Technicians at Lagos pathology Department building and Federal Laboratory Service, Yaba.
“The School was later upgraded to train high level Medical Laboratory Scientists many of whom are occupying various top positions in the Universities, research institutions, food and beverage industries, veterinary and vaccine production centres, public health institutions, secondary and tertiary establishments in and outside the country.
“In 1978 the School was relocated to Jos in order to improve infrastructural facilities; provide opportunities for more students and increase the scope of training and capacity. The School operated in the temporary structures located at the premises of the Jos University Hospital (JUTH) old site along Murtala Mohammed Way, Jos. It utilizes the clinical laboratories of JUTH for training. The development of facilities at its permanent site commenced in 1983 but works were halted in l985. However, by 2001 till date developments of more projects commenced”
He enumerated the mission of the School to includes training competent and formidable clinical group of Medical Laboratory Scientists that will meet healthcare needs of individuals and to ensure high standards of professionalism.
“To be a leader in the area of research in Medical Laboratory Science through design, fabrication and production of equipment to meet the specific needs as contained in the scheme of service for Medical Laboratory Scientists.
“Due to lack of legal instrument establishing the School over the years, the School was unable to maximally actualize her mission. But today, It gladdens my heart to announce to this August gathering that the Act of 2018 establishing the Federal School of Medical Laboratory Technology (Science), Jos was graciously signed into law by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.
He however commended the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Health; the Honourable Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, the Honourable Minister of State for Health Dr. Osagie Ehanire and the Permanent Secretary for Health Mr. Abdullahi Mashi for their support.
” We also thank the Governor of Plateau State, Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong who passionately supported us, and the representatives of Plateau State at the National Assembly who on their personal conviction sponsored the Bill for this Act”.
He urged the participants to draw lessons from the workshop, engage and contribute more in the area of research for our nation building.
He added that with the signing into law of the Act 2018 establishing the School, will empower the School to fulfil her vision ”To be a foremost institution of Medical Laboratory Science in the West African sub-region”. This is in view of the provisions in section 7 of the Act establishing the School which is quite enormous.
‘However, the following opportunities are possible if the School is chosen as a centre for: Cytopathology research, Collaborative training centre for the American Society for Clinical Pathology in Africa, Mycology research, and Short courses in Forensic Science, Laboratory management and Molecular biology.
“We are therefore soliciting for support from relevant authorities like TETFUND for infrastructural and capacity building. We solicit for adequate funding from the Federal government through the Federal Ministry of Health. We believe that this Act will also attract international funding as well as assume legal entity among other gains.
Declaring the session open, representative of the Plateau State government and Commissioner for health, Comrade Nizim commended the doggedness of the Provost/ CEO of the Federal School of Medical Laboratory Technology Sciences, Jos for his resilience in bringing good things to medical science in the country.
Pharm. Nizim, who is the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Lalong on Health, underscores the importance of medical laboratory science to health development, saying as a government they are ready to support the management of the Institution to actualize her dreams.