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Opinions Mon, 6 Apr 2020

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Coronavirus: Appreciate those handling the virus

COVID-19, the current pandemic bedeviling mankind today. But there is a group of people who are most at risk than any other group of persons; Health care professionals.

Kudos to all health workers helping fight SARS-COV-2. I however think medical laboratory professionals should be appreciated more and accordingly remunerated for the enormous role they are playing in this global fight.

This is true as other medical professionals have to deal with people carrying the virus, Medical laboratory professionals are into handling the virus( SARS-COV-2) itself. Yes! You read that right, medical laboratory scientists handle the live deadly pathogen.

It is no doubt that the only health professionals detecting with certainty whether or not a suspected person has COVID-19 is the medical laboratory scientist. These professionals indulge themselves in the risky venture of taking samples where probably the most contagious virus at the moment can be found, and subsequently test samples for the virus.

Thus the only profession that can inform all other health professionals and the public at large of the presence or not of COVID-19. With certainty, medical laboratory professionals are the only professionals that can declare a previously positive person to now be fully recovered from the COVID19.

As regards finding a potent remedy, the medical laboratory professional leads in testing therapeutic agents against the isolated virus and as well key in finding efficacy of preventive measures.

That is to say that medical laboratory professionals work on the virus to determine for example the percentage of alcohol required to inactivate the virus. So when next you hear the admonition of usage of at least 70% alcohol along with hand washing, know that it has been verified by the medical laboratory professional.

Now ponder over these; Who should be appreciated more in this global fight? Who should be provided with much better personal protective equipment(PPE)? Who should receive a decent part of the reward? Should it be the professionals who handle the virus, or others who handle persons carrying the virus?

I am confident your good sense of judgement would agree to giving more to those professionals handling the real virus.

Will like to call on government to hence forth invest massively in the training of medical scientist and equip them to global standard so they can be more abreast with diseases, treatment and development of vaccines or their validation.

Will also like to remind government to constantly engage medical laboratory professionals and seek their professionals advice in dealing with the pandemic for they work with the virus itself thus know much about its technically than any other group

Lastly will call on government, medical directors and managers of health institutions to appropriately regard,protect and provide for medical laboratory professionals for they are the main frontliners in this fight

Written By Dr Asilevi Eli Collins Consultant laboratory medicine

Columnist: Dr Asilevi, Contributor

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