Here in this post, we are going to give you a detailed guide on how to start a medical laboratory in Nigeria. We hope you find it informative.
Nigeria, as a country where we all dwell and make our living and also preaches kindness to others, has given us a duty of maintaining balances between our businesses and our humanity.
Verily, this is the reason why 70% of industries in Nigeria are assessed based on our National standard and not the industrial value system. Probably, the reason why importation is predominant in Nigeria and medical attention is usually sought from outside.
What is Medical Laboratory?
The medical laboratory is not a common medical room or an annexe of a clinic but it is better regarded as a situation room because of the vital roles that it plays in saving a countless number of lives.
It is not inferior to the doctor’s office or the theatre, nor is it inferior to the pharmacy but it serves parallel purpose and order in medical attention.
In fact, the medical laboratory is the very soul of diagnosing and ‘better diagnosing’, they say ‘mean better patient care’.
How Profitable is Medical Laboratory in Nigeria?
In Nigeria, owning a laboratory undoubtedly means owning a big investment.
Although, it is usually required that a medical laboratory is coordinated by Medical Laboratory Technologist/Scientist i.e have obtained a certificate in either of MLT, MLS, BMLS, DMLS etcetera, and must have indexing of the profession’s council.
This qualification is actually a required working criterion for any laboratory to be considered medical. This is not only for medical duties but also for administrative and legal substantiality as the medics are a field of ethical value.
Requirements to Start a Medical Laboratory in Nigeria
1. Get the laboratory Building
Presumably, there is no gainsaying in describing the description of laboratory building which is required to be spacious, ventilated, and lightning and with workbenches.
These requirement to be gotten as part of the laboratory. It is never a crime to use a rented building or a residential apartment.
It is, however, noteworthy that there should be less disturbance in such environment, the laboratory should not be related on a frequent basis and the non-expert should be kept away from the laboratory and working benches at all times.
2. Get the Equipment
A very important component of any laboratory to be considered in Nigeria is the microscope. The microscope is not just a tool of Nigeria laboratory but a symbol of Medical Laboratory Science which is seen all and everywhere.
Categorically, all laboratories in Nigeria have a microscope in the least. Although, there are varieties of two major types, whichever one is gotten shall be okay for an average Nigeria laboratory.
Importantly and unavoidable are the glassware. The transparent glasses are the most common identity of a laboratory (after the microscope).
Glory to the advancement, many items are now made of plastics. Examples of glassware to be gotten to a Nigeria laboratory includes Conical & Erlenmeyer flasks, beakers, Bottles, Funnels, Cylinders, Tubes, Pipettes etcetera.
These materials are relevant to any laboratory, no matter how lowly, degraded or under-privileged. For the absence of the glass wares, there isn’t a laboratory not to talk of medical tests.
Hence, no laboratory should be found in Nigeria except it has them. These materials could either be graduated or non-graduated, but preferably the graduated ones are okay as they shall be further used to measure quantities.
It is also beneficial to say that bottles to equip to a laboratory is expected to vary from Specimen bottles through reagent bottles to drop bottles.
More numbers of specimen then reagent bottles can be provided compared to drop bottles. This worth to explain that pipettes differ; volumetric, graduated, blood and Pasteur pipette. All of which should be gotten in appropriate proportion. A host of further details will require professional knowledge.
Having secured the above accordingly, another device needed in the medical laboratory is the Centrifuge. A centrifuge is a machine that works on the principle of spinning to sediment rapid particles such as cell. It is used in the determination of PCV (packed cell volume) which is a prominent laboratory test, and other regularly occurring laboratory tests. In respect to this, it is an important one in your laboratory too.
Although, we have the hand centrifuge, which is more antique and give slower speed, and the motor driven one is recommended. We also have the Micro-hematocrit centrifuge which also motor-driven and serve a special duty of auto-estimating the PCV of the red blood cell column, usually in percentage as desired. Getting a centrifuge is one of the good steps to take is setting up a medical laboratory.
Weighing scales, also analytical balance, comes here on the list of necessities to get in starting a medical laboratory. Despite that weighing scale and analytical balance seems the same, yet they differ in their functions as one measures large quantities while the other weighs smaller quantities.
For the hinge-free running of any laboratory, weighing scales are demanded. Hence, list it among the things to order for building up your laboratory. It is easy for anybody to measure with anything and can even estimate things to the perfect value, however smaller quantities of the measure requires the analytical balance. Getting the right peg for the right hole is the quality of being professional.
Read Also: How to Start a Clinic in Nigeria
Summary of Tools / Equipment needed to start a Medical Laboratory in Nigeria
Although, a laboratory differs considering the branches which it specifies but only a few laboratories in Nigeria are specific and relative to certain fields of clinical sciences like cytology, parasitology, blood banking, histopathology, microbiology and so on.
However, in all specialization, the Nigeria laboratories must be set up basically with these tools and then especially with specialized equipment which is often expensive and are not easily found in the near vicinity.
I need to emphasize that the price for things ranges on the average level of one state to another and most laboratory equipment are not sold unlicensed.
The laboratory building has its cost depending on the housing expenses of the area situated but the aforementioned qualities must be guaranteed while getting the materials to get cheaper the closer it is to the National capitals specifically the shore i.e Lagos state.
Minimally, these are the necessities to start a medical laboratory in Nigeria. In summary, the qualification from an accredited institution crowns it all and the scientist is registered with the AMLSCN (Association of Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria).
A host of other equipment may include serological water bath, incubator, hot air oven and so forth. Henceforth, reagents and apparatus, strips and necessary chemicals should be gotten too.
It is believed that medical laboratory science is the backbone of modern medicine, so improving it is a great increment to the health sector. With the above, an average medical laboratory is established.
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