As Nigeria intensifies efforts towards stopping the rising spread of coronavirus cases, ISN Medical, a leading supplier of diagnostic products and services in Nigeria, has stepped forward to recognise the contributions of laboratory scientists in the ongoing war against the virus.
To this end, ISN Medical has instituted the maiden edition of ‘ISN Medical laboratory scientist of the Year award.’
According to Felix Ofungwu, executive director of ISN Medical, the annual award is geared towards promoting quality in the practice of medical laboratory science in the country.
He said while doctors and nurses got all the glory and financial benefits in medical practice, lab scientists, who he described as unsung heroes of the medical sector, are also part of frontline health workers helping to save the country from the global pandemic. Without lab scientists, accurate diagnosis and proper treatment are impossible, Ofungwu said.
“Medical laboratory scientists are among the frontline workers in the current fight against COVID-19 as they are saddled with the responsibilities of handling and testing patient samples. They do this efficiently and quietly and it is easy to miss their contributions. In fact, lab scientists have long been the unsung heroes of the medical practice as they help ensure that patients are properly diagnosed and therefore properly treated,” he said.
In his address, Daniel Adewuni, project consultant, ISN Medical, the under-appreciated heroes deserve to be celebrated because every health sector depends on their skills and services to come up with accurate diagnosis that doctors need to treat ailments properly.
“As the leading supplier of medical diagnostic products and services in Nigeria, we understand the important role played by medical laboratory scientists in the overall healthcare delivery system; hence, the introduction of this initiative as part of our corporate social responsibility and development of healthcare delivery in Nigeria. It is an initiative established to recognise and reward excellence among medical laboratory scientists, to boost their morale and encourage them to ensure accurate diagnosis,” he said.
This year’s edition of the award will run from June to November, with entry open to all practising licensed lab scientists. In order to be eligible, every participant must have the requisite academic qualifications, be a registered member of Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN) and be working in a registered medical laboratory or hospital.
To preserve the integrity of the award, grading and selection of winners will be executed by an erudite panel of judges; while the grand finale and presentation of prizes would take place in November. The overall winner of the award will receive a grand prize of N1 million, a capacity development training internationally and a donation of medical lab equipment/reagents worth N1 million to the laboratory or hospital where he or she works. Also, the first runner-up will smile home with N750,000 and a capacity development training internationally. Other consolation prizes abound.