Alaafin seeks ‘new deal’ in Nigeria’s healthcare delivery

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The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi 111, has called for the enthronement of quality laboratory testing in the country.
This, he said, is because, as a fulcrum on which the entire healthcare
delivery system revolves, an efficient laboratory testing eases up the
journey towards wellness.
He was speaking at the commissioning of a National Reference
Laboratory complex, constructed by a private health care
establishment, PathCare Laboratories, in Lagos.
To do this, Oba Adeyemi stated that government should encourage
medical laboratories to adopt the international standards and
accreditation, adding that this encouragement may be in the
institution of workable timelines for laboratories in Nigerian to seek
and get this all-important accreditation.
‘’In healthcare delivery journey, diagnosis is the route that takes
the driver (medication/doctor) and the passenger (the patient) to the
destination of patient’s recovery. Once the route is wrong, as in
cases of misdiagnosis, both the driver and the passenger will never
get to their destination. On the contrary, misdiagnosis could lead to
number of unpalatable circumstances including death, unnecessary and
elongated treatment with the attendant high costs. It could also
result in lengthy and costly litigation for the laboratory’’.
According to him, ‘’one must acknowledge that quality in healthcare is
not just a Nigerian problem but a big global medical issue. We were
told of how Dora Akunyili, Nigeria’s one-time information minister and
a former director-general of the National Food and Drug Administration
and Control, NAFDAC, fell victim of misdiagnosis in the United
States’’.
‘’Also, the late legal luminary, Gani Fawehinmi’s case was very unfortunate. He sought for quality care from health facilities in Nigeria but these facilities failed in their duty to deliver quality care to him. Although Gani did not mention the facilities he was wrongly diagnosed before his eventual trip abroad, one could easily assume that these facilities had the cosmetic trappings of quality – fine buildings, clean environment, professionally-looking staff, shiny
equipment etc. They, however, lacked the basic essence of a medical
laboratory which is to provide high quality diagnostic services that
meet the needs of patients and the healthcare personnel’’.
While Dora and Gani may just be two of the most celebrated cases of
misdiagnosis, the royal father pointed out that a lot of other
Nigerian patients, whose cases of misdiagnosis are hardly known, are
sent daily to their untimely graves.
‘’Generally speaking, quality is a measure of excellence or a state of
being free from defects, deficiencies and significant variations,
brought about by a strict and consistent commitment to certain
standards that achieve uniformity of a product in order to satisfy
specific or user requirements. In medical diagnostics, quality could
be a matter of life and death. This is the reason pathologists get
very finicky when issues of quality come up’’.
Chairman of PathCare Laboratories, Dr, Richard Ajayi, noted that it
was unfortunate that in Nigeria, 90 percent of [medical] laboratories
cannot boast of internal quality control which has become the bane of
accurate laboratory results in Nigeria.
 He stated that “Most laboratories have inadequate trained personnel,
poor reagent equipment among others and this has made laboratory
results from Nigeria unacceptable abroad.”
In the same vein, the company’s Managing Director, Dr. Pamela Ajayi,
disclosed that the laboratory organization was the first medical laboratory in West Africa to earn accreditation to ISO-15189 by SON.

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