WAPCMLS aims to produce Medical Laboratory Science specialists of the highest standards who will provide world class services in healthcare delivery, diagnostic reagents production, teaching and professional research in human and animal health services.
To plan and implement postgraduate programmes required to produce Medical Laboratory Science professionals of the highest quality, competence and dedication, who will provide effective diagnostic laboratory services, teaching and research leadership for addressing the health needs of West Africa and the global community.
BRIEF HISTORY OF WAPCMLS
On the 10th of June, 2010 in Nairobi Kenya, the delegates from West Africa at the 29th World Congress of the International Federation of Biomedical Laboratory Science (IFBLS) met and agreed to form a platform for training and developing the much-needed specialist laboratory manpower for enhanced and effective health healthcare service and diagnostic capacity in the subregion. The name, West African Postgraduate College of Medical Laboratory Science (WAPCMLS) was adopted by the delegates in attendance at the meeting. The proposal to establish the College was enthusiastically received by all in attendance at the meeting, and it was tagged: The Nairobi Initiative. Delegates from Nigeria, Ghana, Mali, Niger and Cameroun were in attendance at the meeting in Nairobi.
Mr. Manason Rubainu and Dr. Godswill Okara, President and Vice President respectively of the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists Nigeria represented Nigeria at the Congress, convened the meeting of the West African delegates. Nigeria was therefore mandated at the meeting to articulate a Draft Constitution for the College and host a follow up meeting of all the leaders of the Associations of Medical Laboratory Scientists from the member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). In compliance with the Mandate, AMLSN invited and hosted Representatives of ECOWAS member Associations in Lagos on 16th September, 2010 where the Draft Constitution was discussed and adopted by the Country Representatives in attendance. Professor Vincent S. Gallicchio, the then President, International Federation of Biomedical Laboratory Science (IFBLS) performed the inaugural presentation of the Draft Constitution of the College at the Lagos Conference on the 17th September, 2010.
The ECOWAS President was formally informed about the Initiative. A request was made for the guidance of the ECOWAS Authority on the process and procedure for getting the recognition and assistance of ECOWAS for the College. It was accordingly provided and meticulously followed ever since.
On 30th August, 2013, the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria, hosted the Inauguration of the Steering Board of the College and the Formal Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) by the Representatives of six ECOWAS member countries and Cameroon. The then Honourable Minister of Health in Nigeria, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, who was also the Chairman, ECOWAS Assembly of Health Ministers at that time was the Special Guest of Honour at the occasion, delivered the Keynote Address and declared the occasion open.
The following Board Members were elected:
As required by the ECOWAS Guidelines, the signed copies of the MOU and the Inaugurated Board were forwarded to the ECOWAS President, who referred the submission to the Director General, West African Health Organization (WAHO) in Burkina Faso for necessary processing. After a protracted delay 2013 - 2016, the Executive Board of WAHO met and considered our submission and gave a preliminary approval through a Letter of No Objection on behalf of the ECOWAS President on 20th May, 2016. Following the approval from ECOWAS, the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) of Nigeria directed us to get evidence of clearance and letters of No Objection from the Federal Ministry of Education, Federal Ministry of Health and the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria, as a condition for incorporating the College as a legal entity under the laws of Nigeria. We succeeded in fulfilling this requirement in August 2018 after a rigorous process in the Federal Ministry of Education. The Certificate of Incorporation of the College under the laws of Nigeria was duly issued on 13th August, 2018.
2. Implementation Work Plan
Following the issuance of the Incorporation Certificate of the College in August, 2018 a Meeting of the Steering Board was convened in Accra, Ghana on 8th September to draw up a Work Plan to operationalize the College Constitution. Members of the Steering Board and Representatives of the member countries that signed the MOU were in attendance namely: Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Cote d'Voire, Togo, Gambia. A major step in the College Constitution, as approved by WAHO is the formation of Country Chapters of the College and Inauguration of Foundation Fellows of Country Chapters, who will constitute and operate the Faculties of the College in each country. This is to be followed by the Inauguration of the Regional Council and Investiture of all the Foundation Fellows. The DG, WAHO or his Representative is constitutionally a member of the Regional Council of the College as stipulated in Section 7.7 of the WAHO approved Constitution. The Foundation Fellows are virtually the 'owners' of the College, they set the ground rules, draw up training curriculum in each Faculty, accredit training centres, examine trainees and award certificates and Fellowship diplomas to deserving candidates. The Work Plan and Resolutions made at the Accra Meeting were circulated to all member countries after the meeting for implementation.
3. Fees for Foundation Fellows
After a careful evaluation of and thorough debate on the cost implications of organizing the Regional Council Inauguration and Investiture of the Foundation Fellows in Lagos, as well as the initial running cost of the College until we secure the ECOWAS Treaty to qualify the College for logistic and other support by WAHO, the Board arrived at a fee of one thousand five dollars (US$1500) to be paid by each Foundation Fellow. It was a collective decision of all members of the Steering Board at the meeting of 8th September, 2018. All the necessary arrangements for the Inauguration/Investiture including the making of Academic gowns and regalia for the occasion, booking of Sheraton Hotel venue for the programme and a host of other expenses to operationalize the College will come from this seed money.
4. Country Chapter Inauguration
Ghana blazed the trail by being the first to inaugurate her national Chapter of the College with 43 Foundation Fellows on the 15th April, 2019. Nigeria followed by compiling the list of 90 Foundation Fellows for the Nigerian national Chapter of the College in August 2019.
5. Corporate Body Limited by Guarantee under the Federal Ministry of Justice with Headquarters in Nigeria
The College is a corporate body under the laws of Nigeria, in technical affiliation to West African Health Organization (WAHO), a Postgraduate College for training and award of Fellowship certificates and diplomas, like its other health professional counterparts. Being a professional College, the professional Associations in the respective countries are playing a major role in facilitating the development and effective take off of the College.
6. Inauguration of Regional Council and Induction/Investiture of Foundation Fellows
The high point in the development and operation of the College is the Inauguration of the Regional Council and Induction/Investiture of all Foundation Fellows of the College holding at the Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja Lagos on the 21st – 23rd February, 2020. All the Foundation Fellows from the seven participating countries are expected to participate fully in this unique and epoch-making occasion in the development of our College. The roll out of training and examinations by the College Faculties will signal a major step in raising the corps of specialists to strengthen the medical laboratory capacity and capabilities of healthcare services, disease surveillance and control in our region.
THE CHAIRMAN, STEERING BOARD'S DESK
From inception to their period of respective independence from their colonial masters, Medical Lab Scientists in the West African Region has always adopted the same training and practice of Medical Laboratory Science. However, in the mid-nineties, they realized the need to take the harmonization of the training and practice of Medical Laboratory Science to the next level of professional postgraduate education. This led to the formation of the scientific forum for Medical Laboratory Science professionals to discuss how to move the profession forward in West Africa.
The Medical Laboratory Science professionals in the process of realizing their vision, passed a joint resolution in June 2010 at Nairobi, Kenya on the need to establish a Postgraduate Professional Training programme leading to Fellowship award in order to meet the expanding dynamics of Medical Laboratory Science profession worldwide and the changing needs of the larger society in the delivery of Medical Laboratory Science services. The investiture of the foundation fellows, elected fellows and honorary fellows of the College will hold during the official inauguration of the College in Lagos on the 21st to 23rd February 2020.
The College is grateful for the support and contribution of the entire Medical Laboratory Science professionals in West Africa in bringing the vision of establishing the College a reality. Our appreciation also goes to the Director General of WAHO for the guidance and advice received from the organization during the initial process of the establishment of the College by the relevant stakeholders.
THE COLLEGE BOARD & COUNCIL
The College Council according to the constitution is made up of thirty members with two members each representing the 15 ECOWAS member countries. Details of the Council members and their profile will be made available on the website very soon.
Every faculty of the College shall be headed by a Fellow of the College in line with the constitution of the College. The decisions on the activities of each faculty shall be taken with other fellows of the College.
All institution seeking to mount the fellowship programme of the College shall complete the relevant College form and pay the prescribed fees. The college will thereafter appoint a panel of accreditation committee to visit, inspect and determine the suitability of such institution to serve as training and examination centre for specialization of the programmes under the appropriate faculty of the College.
The Institution is to take care of the transportation, accommodation and feeding of the accreditation team during the visit.