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Scientist calls for evacuation of Laboratories from residential areas

A laboratory scientist, Dr. Donald Ofili has said that laboratories should not be located in estates where people are living.

Ofili warned that laboratories should not be located in residential areas because they handle infectious materials.  

According to him, a laboratory should be located in areas not close to where people are living.

Dr. Donald Ofili who is the Director and Deputy Registrar, MLSCN Accreditation Service Abuja, disclosed this during an interview with Newsmen, stressing that there are certain places where laboratories should not be located because they handle pathogens and may expose people living close to them to danger.

Experts say laboratories are typically home to a variety of health and safety risks, as they often deal with a variety of chemicals and equipment that have the potential to be harmful. 

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Ofili explained, “Laboratories should not be set up in residential areas. Don’t put a lab in an estate where people are living. Don’t put a lab in a building where people are living. A lab should be independent because they handle pathogens, and handle infectious materials. 

“It shouldn’t be in the same parameters where human beings are living. Again, no two laboratories should be sited in the same place. 

“There must be a lot of space, 200 meters away from the next laboratory. Even as a private laboratory, you are serving Nigeria, you are serving society. So, you should not have two laboratories close to each other. 

The laboratory scientist said the laid down standard must be followed when setting up a laboratory. 

“We have guidelines for setting up laboratories. People should consult the guidelines before setting up a laboratory. The laboratory should not be opened for business without the required materials because you heard that laboratory is money making, it should not be so”, he added.  

Ofili disclosed that the Federal Government was working out a policy to ensure that all laboratories in the country were accredited by 2025.

He, however, said the registration of a laboratory was compulsory even before the owner commences operation.

“All laboratories must be registered so that they will enter our database for proper monitoring and inspections.

“Accreditation in Nigeria as we speak is voluntary. But very soon, accreditation will be mandatory because the government is working out a policy that says all laboratories must be accredited by 2025,” he said.

Continuing, he stressed that the laboratory cycle must ensure quality at all times.

He said, “In medical laboratory practice, 99 percent quality is not enough, one percent error can take a life.

“It puts the life of the patient at risk. In laboratory services, one percent error is dangerous. You must have the culture of going the extra mile in medical laboratory practice.

“The practitioners of a medical laboratory must understand the value of assuring that every result that leaves the lab is saying exactly what it should say.”

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