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“Improving Global Health by Strengthening Medical Laboratory Capacity in Africa”.
In preparation for the conference of the West African Postgraduate College of Medical Laboratory Science coming up at International Conference Centre, Abuja on Monday 15th – Wednesday 17th November, 2021, the Registrar/Secretary-General of the College, Dr. Godswill C. Okara addressed the press on the 5th November 2021 on the activities of the College for the 2021 conference in Abuja.
He briefed the press on what the college stands for and in his words.
“The West African Postgraduate College of Medical Laboratory Science is a statutory specialized professional Postgraduate training institution of the ECOWAS region, established to train specialists in all the sub-disciplines and specialties of Medical Laboratory Science profession, to strengthen manpower capacity for efficient healthcare service, health research, disease detection, accurate diagnosis, disease surveillance, prevention and control in the West African region.”
He went further that “The 62nd Session of the World Health Organisation Afro-Regional Committee at a meeting on 20th November 2012, in Luanda, Angola adopted the Road map on Human Resources for Health. The Regional Committee unanimously adopted the Road Map for scaling up the human resources for health to improve health service delivery in Africa. The Regional Committee is a WHO Governing Body for the African Region, composed of Ministers of Health of the 46 Member States.”
Dr Okara enumerated the Road map proposed strategies and actions in six areas:
*Optimizing the utilization, retention and performance of the active health workforce.
*Improving health workforce information and generation of evidence for decision making.
The Registrar made a disclosure that ” On the 25th and 26th October 2018, Heads of States and Governments, Ministers and representatives of countries at the Global Conference on Primary Health Care in Astana, Kazakhstan, coming exactly 40 years after the 1978 Alma-Ata Declaration on Health for All, reaffirmed their commitments and expressed as follows:
Governments and societiesthat prioritize, promote and protect people’s health and well-being, at both population and individual levels, through strong health systems.
Primary health care and health servicesthat are high quality, safe, comprehensive, integrated, accessible, available and affordable for everyone and everywhere, provided with compassion, respect and dignity by health professionals who are well-trained, skilled, motivated and committed.
Enabling and health-conducive environmentsin which individuals and communities are empowered and engaged in maintaining and enhancing their health and well-being;
Partners and stakeholdersaligned in providing effective support to national health policies, strategies and plans.
This is the imperative that has informed the establishment of the West African Postgraduate College of Medical Laboratory Science for Fellowship training to produce the compliment of specialists with the desired body of knowledge and technical dexterity to meet the growing challenge of diseases in our sub-region, and by extension ensure global health security.”
Dr Okara summarised this year’s conference activities as follows”
The 2021 scientific conference of the West African Postgraduate College of Medical Laboratory Science has the theme: Improving Global Health by Strengthening Medical Laboratory Capacity in Africa.
Mr. President, HE Muhammadu Buhari has graciously consented to declare the Conference open on the 15th November, 2021. It would be chaired by the Director General of West African Health Organisation, Professor Stanley Okolo. The Keynote Lecture would be delivered by a foremost physician/infectious diseases specialist, Professor Idris Mohammed OON, NNOM, FRCP.
Other distinguished subject experts from West Africa and the USA CDC would also make presentations on subthemes of the Conference. Our College Fellows from all over West Africa and Cameroun would be in attendance at the three-day conference.
One hundred and twenty Elected Fellows would be inducted as a major highlight of the Conference to position the College adequately for the commencement of Fellowship training in the region.”
Dr Okara revealed that in pursuance of the goal of imparting specialized knowledge & skill on medical laboratory scientists in the region, the College in conjunction with the Society of Cellular Pathology Scientists of Nigeria (SCPSN) invited a very eminent Cytologist from South Korea, Prof No Won Park, on voluntary educational service, who had been conducting cytopathology training workshop sessions in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja in the past six weeks. He would be proceeding to Ghana on a similar educational assignment for a couple of weeks. Prof. No Won Park came with 1000 slides of various cancer diagnostic conditions for training of our colleagues in accurate diagnosis of cancer
Present at the press conference were Dr. Tosan Erhabor, the MLSCN Registrar/CEO; Mr. Godwin Ihimekpen, the LOC Chairman; Dr. Paul Abimbola Olaiya, the LOC Secretary; Dr. Jonathan Madukwe, President Society of Cellular Pathology Scientists of Nigeria; Prof. No Won Park, the Visiting Korean Cytology Trainer;