For the second consecutive time, the 661 Nigerian Air Force Hospital Laboratory (661 NAFH), Ikeja has again won the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 15189:2012 accreditation certificate for quality management systems and excellent service delivery. The award was presented to the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao at the Headquarters NAF, Abuja by the Registrar, Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN), Dr Tosan Erhabor. The Laboratory is among the first facilities in Nigeria to embrace quality management system for about 20 years. It was also awarded 5- Star status in 2011 by the MLSCN. Also, in 2013, the African Society for Laboratory Medicine using the World Health Organization’s African Regional Office Checklist also graded the Laboratory 5-Star rating while in 2016, the Laboratory became accredited to ISO 15189:2012 standard making it the first among 3 laboratories in Nigeria to become accredited to ISO 15189.
While presenting the accreditation certificate to the CAS, the Registrar MLSCN, Dr Tosan Erhabor noted that the 661 NAFH Laboratory was the first to be accredited in 2016 thereby blazing the trail in quality management systems for others to follow. “The facility was also the first in the entire military to key into ISO 15189 which, as we all know, is the hallmark of quality. The accreditation also indicates that NAF is committed to doing the right thing even when no one is watching, this is commendable”, he said. Dr Erhabor used the opportunity to encourage the CAS to go a step further in his commitment to quality and excellent service delivery by ensuring that other NAF facilities across the country key into the quality management system. He stated further that the Gazette on National Quality Infrastructure was recently released, indicating that the issue of Quality is now being taken seriously at the highest level of decision making in the country. He commended the pivotal role gallant personnel of the NAF have continued to play in the fight against insurgency, armed banditry and other forms of criminality in the country. According to him, “The officers and men of the NAF represent the best among us and their attributes of courage, integrity, excellence, professionalism and patriotism are worthy of emulation”. He assured the NAF of the Council unalloyed support as it continues with the task of safeguarding the territorial integrity of the country.
In his remarks, the CAS stated that the NAF appreciates its collaboration with MLSCN especially in the standardization and improvement of NAF laboratories. He also disclosed that the NAF was making efforts to ensure provision of competent personnel, appropriate facility, equipment and regular supply of reagents among other inputs for other laboratories. In the same vein, the CAS stated that the NAF is currently upgrading and equipping laboratories with modern analyzers while also ensuring that medical personnel as well as medical laboratory scientists benefit from regular training, both local and foreign. “Very soon, the NAF School of Medical Sciences and Aviation Medicine will admit students for technician courses, including medical laboratory technicians. This is in line with one of the key drivers of my Vision, which is to “pursue purposeful training and human capacity development”, he said.
While appreciating the Registrar for the strides he has taken to standardize medical laboratory practice in Nigeria, he stated further that the NAF was ready to collaborate with the Council and all other health regulatory bodies to ensure that standard and quality are maintained. The recent introduction of telemedicine and commencement of family medicine residency at 661 NAFH, he said, are measures taken to ensure availability and easy accessibility of quality healthcare.
The event was witnessed by Branch Chiefs from NAF Headquarters and management staff of MLSCN.