In recognition of his commitment to excellence and his drive for quality in medical laboratory practice, Friday Odum, a medical laboratory scientist working with Clina-Lancet Laboratories, Lagos, has emerged as the 2021 ISN Medical Laboratory Scientist of the Year Award. Odum was pronounced winner ahead of nine other top contenders at the grand finale award ceremony held on Friday at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The award was instituted in 2020 by ISN Products Nigeria Limited, the leading supplier of medical diagnostic products and services in Nigeria, to recognise and reward the unsung heroes of medical practice in Nigeria. For emerging the winner of the award’s second edition, Odum would receive a cash prize of One Million Naira (N1,000,000.00), a capacity development training, and a Medical Lab Equipment/Reagents donation worth One Million Naira to the Laboratory where he works. Ndukwe Kelechi from Everight Diagnostics and Laboratory Services Limited, Abuja, emerged the first runner-up going home with a cash prize of Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N750, 000.00) and a Capacity Development Training opportunity.
Gabriel Oke, an employee of the National Hospital, Abuja, emerged as the second runner-up, winning a cash prize of Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N500, 000.00) and a Capacity Development Training opportunity. The other seven finalists were rewarded with a cash prize of N200 000.00 each. Speaking at the grand finale, Commissioner for Health, Lagos State, Prof. Akin Abayomi, who was represented by the Director, Medical Laboratory Services, Lagos Health Service Commission, Mr. Tajudeen Olatunji, expressed profound appreciation to ISN for the laudable initiative, which he noted would boost morale and drive excellence service delivery in medical laboratory profession in Nigeria.
In his welcome address, the Managing Director of ISN Products Nigeria Limited, Mr. Felix Ofungwu, stated that ISN initiated the award to celebrate quality medical laboratory practice and recognise laboratory scientists for their contribution to Nigeria’s healthcare delivery. According to Ofungwu, the need for medical laboratory scientists in the health care sector became more important, particularly when the world, including Nigeria, was confronted with the rampaging effect of the different variants of the COVID-19 virus. In his goodwill message, the President, Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN), Mr. Tosan Erhabor, represented by the Head, Zonal Officer, South West, Mr. Offutalu Paulinus, noted that medical laboratory scientists play a significant role in health care delivery ecosystem. He said that all the top 10 finalists should regard themselves as heroes.
While praising ISN for being a trailblazer, courageously celebrating excellence among practitioners, the President, Association of Medical Laboratory Scientist of Nigeria (AMLSN), Prof. James Damen, who was represented by its 2nd Vice President, South West, Adebo David, stated that the professional body is looking forward to a collaboration that will not only deepen knowledge in the area of research but help to advance the cause of the profession in Nigeria.
Shortly after being announced the winner of the second edition of the award, Odum applauded ISN for its steadfast commitment to quality medical laboratory practice in Nigeria. He stated that the company’s contributions are evident in recognition of excellence through the initiative and the requisite training needed in advanced diagnostic techniques obtained in contemporary medical laboratory practice. Also, at the event, one of the profession’s leading lights, a lecturer and author of repute, Dr. John Ochei, was conferred with the Lifetime Achievement Award to promote quality medical laboratory practice in Nigeria.