The National Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists accused the Federal Government for excluding them in negotiation of upward review of Covid-19 hazard allowances.
The Association particularly chided the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, accusing him of using divide and rule tactics in the negotiations for upward review of the allowances.
Prof. James Damen, the National President of the association said that Labour Minister isolated the National Association of Resident Doctors NARD, while engaging them in the ongoing discussions to meet their demands, but Laboratory Scientists who collect samples and have direct link to patients were excluded in the talks.
The Association which is commemorating the World Biomedical Laboratory Science Day, 2021, with the theme: Testing Times-Biomedical Laboratory Scientists Role in the Covid19 Pandemic, said it will resist the terms of agreement they will arrive at since they were not party to the negotiation.
Damen said, “The Minister of Labour and Employment called a meeting to negotiate for hazard allowances and excluded us from the meeting. This is unfair, injustice and unacceptable to us, in developed countries hazard allowances are paid based on the risk of exposure of professionals, while in Nigeria the reverse is the case”.
The Laboratory Scientists also accused the government of paying lip services to the development of infrastructure to support scientists, insisting that ordinarily baseline studies was supposed to precede the current Covid-19 vaccination taking place in the country to uncover any adverse effects on the populace.
According to Damen, some countries have reported that in some Covid-19 vaccine recipients blood cloth was observed, but Nigeria has not done a single research to further authentic the efficacy of the vaccines on the populace.
“In the wake of the pandemic, the Medical Laboratory Scientist showed their undying compassion for the patient by walking the path dreaded by many. While some were stigmatizing, the Medical Laboratory Scientist was on the search to collect samples from those who others feared to come close to, they indeed provided the needed specimen that guided public health actions.
“In the laboratories, the world couldn’t have known the strains we were dealing with, if not for the efforts of this unsung heroes who spent sleepless nights in the laboratories to provide evidence that guided policy makers in making key and timely decisions”.