Stakeholders chart course for ending blood disorders
When health experts converged in Abuja recently, one thing was uppermost in their minds: the need for a paradigm shift towards a more harmonious relationship among professionals involved in the diagnosis and management of blood disorders.
They also emphasized the need to strengthen laboratory capacity and research to diagnose blood disorders in Nigeria. This, they reasoned, should be done through adequate funding, personnel development, equipment endowment and having an all inclusive and valued health teams.
According to Prof Erhabor Osaro, Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee for the 3rd International Pre-Conference on Haematology and Blood Disorders (Abuja 2015), this can potentially lead to improving health outcomes among Nigerians living with blood disorders.
Osaro and other experts spoke at the conference, which centred on optimising research and diagnosis of blood disorders in Nigeria. Osaro noted: “Blood disorders are a serious public health problem.
It affects millions of people all over the world, cutting across the boundaries of age, profession, race, gender and socioeconomic status.”
He spoke on the aim of the conference: “The aim of this meeting is to empower participants to reduce the public health burden of blood disorders by sharing evidenced based best practices aimed at fostering a better understanding of blood disorders and their complications, ensuring that prevention programs are developed, implemented and evaluated by all healthcare professionals involved in the diagnosis and management, This will facilitate improvement in the quality of life for people living with, or affected by blood disorders.”
He went on: “Health professionals in Nigeria must work with the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to build an enduring public health system in Nigeria.
The basis of public health is putting research results into action and creating accessible health information. This is to encourage the adoption of health behaviours and better health outcomes for the Nigerian populace.” Vice Chancellor of the University of Abuja, Prof Michael Adikwu, stressed how the delivery of high quality laboratory services was essential in Nigeria’s health systems.
His words: “The value of medical laboratory service is often underestimated in spite of this vital contribution to the provision of cost effective, quality and effective health care.
It was in the bid to address this problem that the 42nd session of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa in 1993 adopted resolution AFR/RCCN/R7 that urged member states to develop well staffed, structured and properly equipped medical laboratory services. It recognized that adequate laboratory capacity consists of several essential elements that must be addressed simultaneously within comprehensive strategies and national plans.”
The University of Abuja, he said, would play its role in mounting the Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science degree programme to contribute in raising skilled manpower to achieve the objective of a well staffed and properly equipped medical laboratory services in Nigeria. Vice Chairman of the Federal University of Birnin Kebbi, Professor Lawal Suleman Bilbis stressed the significance of the blood in the overall wellbeing of an individual.
He noted how blood disorders affect one or more parts of the blood and prevent blood from carrying out its statutory responsibilities. “The disorders, which may be acute or chronic, include, among others, platelet disorders, excessive clotting, bleeding problems, anaemia, leukaemia, myeloma and eosinophilic disorders. Many of them are inherited, while some are as a result of other diseases, side effects of drugs and lack of certain nutrients in the diet.”
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