Nigerian Govt, MLSCN to sanction health facilities using rapid blood test kits

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The National Blood Service Commission (NBSC) and the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to sanction health facilities using rapid test kits for any blood services.

The Director-General of NBSC, Prof. Saleh Yuguda, said during the signing of the MoU on Thursday in Abuja, that the move would improve blood safety and laboratory services nationwide.

He added that the agreement would ensure compliance to established standard, registration and accreditation of blood establishments by the NBSC.

He said “the MoU will ensure that all practitioners abide by the rules and regulations that will ensure that the common man in the street gets the safest blood like every other person all over the world.

“We have both agreed that we will not register any blood bank in the country if its personnel are not duly registered by the council.”

He explained that many blood service establishments do not use the Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) minimum requirement as recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Explaining that ELISA is commonly used to measure antibodies, antigens, proteins and glycoproteins in biological samples, he added that it is the technique used in screening for Transfusion Transmitted Infections (TTIs).

He noted that “WHO set the minimum standard as ELISA, but you can go higher than that but not lower than that. So, we should ensure that all blood service establishments in the country abide by that.”

Also, Prof. Tosin Erhabor, the Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of MLSCN, said the council would collaborate with NBSC to increase blood donation and prevention of TTIs, and to improve access to safe and affordable blood components.

Erhabor added that the council would also push for the separation of blood banks from the main laboratory, noting that “the signing of this MoU represents a significant milestone in the healthcare landscape of our nation.
“Our coming together indicates commitment to help the health sector to open a new chapter and a more positive narrative if we get it right and our citizens begin to see light at the end of the tunnel.

He added that the council will not approve or renew the licence of any laboratory that operates Blood Bank without evidence of registration with NBSC.

The registrar stressed that all medical laboratories to be registered by NBSC must also provide evidence of registration with MLSCN, making this a win-win arrangement for all concerned.

He, therefore, urged stakeholders to scale up the quality of blood service and blood components available to patients to improve health status. (NAN)

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