By Blessing Odega,
Mr. Solomon Chollom, a medical laboratory scientist with the National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI), Jos, has called on the Federal Government to strengthen its response to disease outbreak in Nigeria.
Chollom who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Jos, said that it was vital for government to strengthen the response with robust and effective disease surveillance systems at both state and federal level.
He said that in a bid to strengthen the response to disease outbreaks, health workers should be trained and retrained on defining timelines and strategies on disease emergency response system.
Chollom lamented that in Nigeria, diseases broke out without any warning signal to safeguard the public and there were no data on such outbreaks to help mitigate against future occurrences.
According to him, poor development in technology on remote disease sensing in the country made the country a prone territory to most emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases.
Chollom said that for response to health emergencies to be prompt and effective, the laboratory component of disease investigation must be fully optimised.
He said that outbreak definition and diagnoses of diseases could only be done with effective laboratory support manned by a professional.
Chollom said it was by doing so that proper definition and causes of disease outbreak would be tackled effectively.
Similarly, Mr. Yakubu Bot, a medical laboratory scientist, said that strengthening response to disease outbreak and emergencies would not only reduce morbidity, disability and mortality but reduce social and economic impacts from such outbreaks.
Bot, who is also the chairman, Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN), Plateau chapter, said that laboratory investigations had become imperative in improving the health status of Nigerians and reducing healthcare cost.
He said that disease outbreak preparedness programmes, health practitioners’ work ethics and regular skill updates were major determinants in disease outbreak preparedness.