The Guild of Medical Laboratory Directors (GMLD)has criticised the federal government’s policy of importing vaccines to fight against epidemics and pandemics in view of the fact that Nigeria has no business importing vaccines that can be produced in the country.
The GMLD President, Prince Elochukwu Adibo, who led the guild on a courtesy visit to the palace of Ona of Abaji and the Chairman, FCT Council of Traditional Rulers, His Royal Highness, Alhaji (Dr) Adamu baba Yunusa, said the production, availability and accessibility of the current produced COVID-19 vaccines to developing nations have become a source of worry to the Guild of Medical Laboratory Directors.
Adibo said, “Nigeria has no business importing vaccines, we can produce any human vaccine in the country, we have the capacity, manpower and human resources to do so.”
Citing experience in the past, Adibo said that Laboratory Scientists in Nigeria have done it in the past and can still do it today as he said Nigerian Medical Laboratory Scientists produced Small Pox Vaccine in Nigeria at the Yaba Vaccine Centre, supervised by World Health Organisation (WHO), not only for Nigerians but for the entire West African citizens in the fight against Small Pox in the sixties up to the early nineties.
Adibo wonders what went wrong with the Yaba human vaccine centre as he said “like every other institution of government in Nigeria, the vaccine centre was mismanaged, every striving government institution in Nigeria then, be it Nigerian airways, railways, refinery, shipping lines, Nigerian Mining Corporation, Hotels owned by the government, transportation, etc were mismanaged and they all collapsed.”
“Therefore, the vaccine centre in Yaba also went down baring the present circumstances that we find ourselves with the coronavirus pandemic, the federal government as a matter of urgency should resurrect the vaccine centre in Yaba Lagos.
“Any nation that depends on foreign vaccines is toying with the health of its citizens, as global politics on vaccine production, availability and accessibility are not favourable to under-developed nations.”
Adibo also said developed nations that produce vaccines have discriminatory and protective tendencies against less privileged countries who cannot afford to produce human vaccines because they want to make the vaccines available to their citizens before considering other nations.
Adibo further said, “that is why the Guild of Medical Laboratory Directors has planned their National Scientific Conference for Abuja at the International Conference Centre, with the theme: “Harnessing Awareness of Public-Private Mix for the Production of Human Vaccine and in In—Vitro Diagnostics”, to find a final solution to producing local human vaccines in Nigeria.”
Adibo further reiterated that “if Nigeria begins the work of producing human vaccine today, it will take three years to actualise the vaccine production dream in the country.”
Therefore he invited the Ona of Abaji, His Royal Highness, Alhaji (Dr) Adamu baba Yunusa, as Royal Father of the Day to the Guild’s National Scientific Conference, holding at the Abuja International Conference Centre, on the August 17 – 20, 2021.
In his response, the Ona of Abaji praised and thanked the leadership of the Guild of Medical Laboratory Directors as he described the Laboratory Scientists as the cornerstone of health providers and the doctors’ doctor by saving lives silently in their medical laboratories through their empirical laboratory diagnosis.
He encouraged them to do more in the areas of research and development to find cures to the numerous diseases and infections afflicting mankind today.
The Ona of Abaji however said he was very worried over the prevalence of fake and hard drugs in the country.
He said, “I am very happy with your visit to my palace, medical laboratory scientists all over the world play vital roles in saving lives.”
“The current COVID-19 pandemic has brought your profession to prominence, limelight and importance in the health sector, but I am extremely worried about a lot of fake drugs that are being produced in Nigeria and imported into the country, they are responsible for the death of some of the sick and the wounded across Nigeria.”
“The Ona of Abaji further reiterated that the use of hard drugs by our youths is responsible for over 80 per cent of the crime committed today.”
He condemned the kidnapping and violent crimes in the country and called on all citizens to join hands with the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to fight against crime and criminality in the country.
The Ona concluded by saying, “whether we are Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, or any other tribe, we are one, and must learn to live together for the betterment and the future of our Nigeria. Therefore we must work hard to safeguard and protect this country.”
He promised to do everything within his power to enlighten his subjects to adhere to the COVID-19 protocols and maintain the peace in his domain.
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