By Doris Obinna
Entries for the 2021 ISN Medical Laboratory Scientist of the Year award are now open. The ISN award, which is now in its second edition, according to the organisers, is an initiative powered by ISN Products Nigeria Limited, a leading supplier of medical diagnostic products and services in Nigeria.
Speaking at the kick-off ceremony, the managing director, Mr. Felix Ofungwu explained that the main objective of the initiative was to promote excellence in the practice of medical laboratory science in Nigeria, by recognising and rewarding outstanding medical laboratory scientists.
“The ISN Medical Laboratory Scientist of the Year award is our way of recognising the significant role medical laboratory scientists play in the delivery of quality healthcare through accurate testing, which is critical to proper diagnosis and treatment of patients. For years, quality-driven medical laboratory scientists have served as the unsung heroes, carrying out their duties thanklessly and silently. Well, ISN is trying to ensure that these heroes get the recognition they deserve,” he said.
Speaking on eligibility for the award, Ofungwu stated that an applicant is required to possess requisite and relevant academic qualifications, must be working in a registered laboratory or hospital and must be registered with the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN).
He announced that the grand prize winner would be rewarded with a cash prize of N1 million, capacity development training and a donation of lab equipment, reagents and consumables worth N1 million to the laboratory or hospital where he or she works.
He explained that the award is as much a recognition of the laboratory in which the scientist works as it is of the scientist.
“The first runner-up will receive a cash prize of N750,000 and a capacity development training. The second runner-up will receive a cash prize of N500,000 and a capacity development training, while seven other finalists will receive consolatory prizes of N200,000 each,” he said.
While lauding stakeholders, including the Federal Ministry of Health, the MLSCN, the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN), and the Guild of Medical Laboratory Directors (GMLD) for lending support to the initiative, Ofungwu noted that the company remained committed to advancing the cause of medical laboratory science practice by celebrating these unsung heroes for their invaluable role towards the delivery of quality healthcare in Nigeria.
On his part, the project consultant for the initiative, Mr. Daniel Adewuni, stated that entries would go through rigorous assessment and grading from a distinguished panel of judges drawn from the medical laboratory science profession who would determine the top 10 finalists as well as the eventual winners.
In his remarks, the national president, AMLSN, Prof. James Damen, who was represented by the chairman of the Lagos branch, Olumide Fadipe, lauded the company for continuing with the noble initiative, noting that such gestures were a testament to its commitment to excellence.
Also commenting, the registrar/CEO, MLSCN, Tosan Erhabor, who was represented by laboratory manager, IVD Lab, Offutalu Paulinus, commended the organisation for the initiative, which has helped not only to honour practitioners for their role but assisted in enhancing their capabilities.