A laboratory scientist, Mr Solomon Chollom, said "If diagnostic centres are upgraded, they will generally improve quality of medical services in the country."
Chollom made the call on Tuesday in Jos, while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
“If diagnostic centres are upgraded, they will generally improve quality of medical services in the country and also reduce medical tourism.
“There is the need to migrate to modern technologies in disease remote sensing; this is particularly efficient in the diagnosis of emerging diseases,” he said.
He particularly regretted that many medical laboratories in local government health centers, cottage hospitals and even major hospitals were poorly equipped.
“A good medical laboratory is very crucial because it is the voice that speaks; without a well-equipped laboratory, the medical laboratory scientist is handicapped.
“It is the equipment that indicates what pathogen, parasites, virus or bacteria that is responsible for an ailment and how such ailment can be tackled.
“The quality of a medical laboratory’s output depends on its input; the inputs are the samples, reagents and equipment.
“If you bring samples to the laboratory, we need the right equipment to work with, most often, we do manual investigation and it delays the treatment hour.
“This also affects the turnaround time for each procedure; in the course of the delay, so many things will happen to the sample.
“There are samples that need to be treated within 30 minutes, some, five minutes. Any delay can compromise the findings,” he said.
The expert observed that most equipment needed in the 21st century medical laboratories were not available in most laboratories in Plateau, and urged government to equip medical laboratories in primary, secondary and tertiary health institutions.
Chollom decried the low rating of Nigeria’s laboratories globally, and urged urgent attention by all tiers of government.
He, however, said that the upgrade of diagnostic technologies must go along with the upgrade of personnel skills and knowledge.
“The place of training and retraining of human capital is very crucial as it takes men to coordinate the processes,” he said.