Key players in the health sector are seeking ways to stop wrong medical diagnosis. They spoke at this year’s diagnosis awareness forum, organised by the Initiative for Medical Diagnostic Awareness (IMDA) in Lagos. The theme of the event, tagged Diagnostic Business Forum, was “Partnership for medical diagnostic development in Nigeria.” Guest lecturer Dr Olusola Akinniyi called for collective response to tackle the problem.
According to him, medical diagnostics have the potential to save many lives through detection of diseases at early stages. “But rather than save lives, it takes lives when it is wrongly carried out,” he said. The effect of an unreliable result, he said, can be dangerous, adding that it is better not to have a diagnostic result than having a false and misleading one. Akinniyi, represented by a Director at Union Diagnostic and Clinical Services Plc, Dr Abiodun Oyeneyin, said early diagnosis ensures that patients get right treatment quickly, and as such can curb the over-use of inappropriate drugs, which is critical in the fight against drug resistance.
“To get the best medical outcome, advanced diagnostic examinations must be applied to diagnose the patient’s underlying health problems,” he said.
Akinniyi identified lack of basic tools, poor allocation of fund to diagnostics in public and private hospitals and manpower as bane of diagnosis in the country. Quoting the Registrar of Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN), Prof Anthony Emeribe, he said there are 10,000 medical laboratories but majority of them operate below global standards. “Even worse, only 3,000 are in the council data base,” he said. He said diagnostic results are at the centre of putting science into healthcare practice, stressing that only accurate and reliable result can justify healthcare practice.
Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Public Health Dr Yewande Adeshina said medical diagnosis, which is the identification of nature and cause of an illness may jeopardise effective healthcare and delivery if not properly handled. She said the programme was coming at a time precise and apposite diagnosis is at low ebb in clinical management amd practice. Adeshina, represented by Dr Kolawole Oyedeji, noted that lack of public and private sector coordination and commercial pressures in the latter leads to poor quality result.