Exploring the Technologies of Laboratory Science for Social Change: an Examination of the Nigerian Healthcare System
Afolabi, Michael O. S.
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Contemporary healthcare constitutes a critical response to the dilemma of health and disease that is partly instinctual and partly organizational. Although Africa faces a number of daunting health challenges, an essential factor which continues to decelerate the efficacy of her healthcare system is that a larger proportion of diseases is hidden from view in the community (Agharanya, 1987; Park, 2005). Against this background, this paper examines and explores how some of the technologies of medical laboratory science may be used to exact novel changes in the structure of the Nigerian health-care system vis-à-vis a better confrontation of diseases. In other words, we seek feasible means through which relevant diagnostic, prognostic or therapeutic knowledge generated in the laboratory may be transferred from the bench to the patient. While this scheme should facilitate the evolvement of a laboratory that goes beyond traditional means in contributing to outcomes measurement of patients from cradle to grave (Forsman, 1996), it should also reinforce the overall competence of the healthcare system.