By Chioma Umeha
The Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria has called on the Federal Government to urgently institute a system for screening Zika virus in the country.
The call was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the 193rd National Executive Council meeting/annual public health lecture of the association that was concluded on Sunday in Calabar, Cross River State.
The communiqué, which was signed by the association’s President and Secretary, Alhaji Toyosi Raheem and Mr. Surajudeen Junaid respectively, urged the government to urgently set up the system for screening of Zika virus among pregnant women in the country.
The communiqué said that the call was coming from the information from the World Health Organisation that Zika virus was rapidly spreading to other countries of the world.
It read in part, “The association is calling on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency; institute a system for screening of Zika virus especially amongst pregnant women in Nigeria.
“NEC is calling on government at all levels to constitute active surveillance teams that will ensure holistic surveillance at all times to detect early warning signs of disease outbreak. This will avoid health emergencies that may impact gravely on innocent Nigerians.
“NEC appreciates the steps so far taken by the federal and state governments in managing the spread of Lassa fever through mass awareness and supply of ribavirin to most health centres across the country.”
The association also wants the Federal Government to establish bio-safety laboratories in each of the geo-political zones of the country.
It also reminded the FG and the federal health institutions on the need to ensure immediate implementation of court pronouncement in favour of the association to be granted full autonomy.
According to the communiqué, judgments of the various judges of the National Industrial Court that were in favour of the association maintained that they be granted full autonomy for the profession and also be given their full entitlements.