FG unveils policy to strengthen Nigeria’s lab systems

Ali Pate

The Federal Government on Friday unveiled the 2023 Nigeria National Medical Laboratory Policy to strengthen laboratory systems across the country.

Speaking during the official flag-off of the dissemination of the policy, the Coordinating Minister of the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Prof Ali Pate said the policy will ensure that every Nigerian, irrespective of their location or background, has equitable access to high-quality laboratory services.

Pate, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Daju Kachollom, noted that the policy provides the blueprint for reinforcing the infrastructure, workforce, and systems that form the foundation of the healthcare system.

“As we officially commence the dissemination of the National Medical Laboratory Service Policy, let us recognise that this is merely the beginning of a new era in healthcare delivery. Implementing this policy will require a collective effort, steadfast commitment, and a shared vision for a healthier nation.


“Let us work together — government agencies, healthcare professionals, private sector, partners, and civil society — to ensure that the benefits of this policy permeate every corner of our great nation, Let us make quality laboratory services not just a policy on paper but a lived reality in the lives of all our citizens,” he stated.

The ninister emphasised the global perspective on healthcare and laboratory systems strengthening global health security.

“In today’s interconnected world, health knows no borders. Strengthening our laboratory systems is not just a domestic priority but a global imperative. We must align with international health regulations to ensure that our laboratory system is robust and capable of responding to global health threats,” he added.

On his part, the Director of the Medical Laboratory Services Division, Department of Hospital Services, FMoH, Dr Kingsley Odiabara said the goals of the policy are to provide a structure for effective coordination of laboratory services across the health system in Nigeria and to develop and operate laboratory services at an optimum standard at each level of health care delivery.

Other goals, according to him are: to establish robust and sustainable laboratory networks and strong referral systems to provide access to quality laboratory services.

“The policy will also strengthen national capacities for highly specialised laboratory testing and infrastructure, and improve research and development and use evidence for policy development and implementation.

“To develop and implement national technical guidelines for quality-assured laboratory service at each level of health care to fully integrate laboratory standards and systems in the various components of health sector reforms,” Odiabara added.

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