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FG urged to invest in research on diseases
The Federal Government has been urged to increase its investment into laboratory medicine, including molecular genetic, in a bid to increase research on prevalent diseases confronting the country.
Dr Adewunmi Adeoye, a Consultant Pathologist, who spoke at the Oyo State, Nigerian Medical Association Continue Medical Education section, stated that this had become imperative with personalised or individualised medicine becoming a key to better healthcare both now and in the future.
Dr Adeoye remarked that the explosion in medical knowledge, advancement in information technology and its corresponding applications had implications for the health sector and are pointers to paradigm shift in how medicine and healthcare services would be offered in the future.
The expert stated: “Medical research has made significant discoveries over many years of research and it is now known that as people differ one from another, so do diseases which were once thought to be same.”
Dr Adeoye stated, “there are significant differences among diseases which will warrant that individuals be treated differently even when they appear to have the same disease. For instance, breast cancer is known to be very different from one person to another and the differences would warrant that individuals be treated differently.”
The expert stated that new developments in laboratory medicine was ensuring better understanding of such diseases as hepatitis, tuberculosis, malaria, diabetes and hypertension and cancer, adding that proper categorisation and characterisation of diseases now would ensure that the right treatment is applied.
According to him, “through molecular and genetic pathology, treatment is based on the genetic composition of an individual or that of his or her disease.”
Dr Adeoye, while saying most of the medical development and understanding of diseases originated from research done in developed countries, he declared that the dearth of information on how several diseases manifest in Africans is due to poor investment in medical research.
According to him, investments in research to understand diseases in Africans due to gene differences in different population has implication for ensuring a healthy, economically productive population, and adequate healthcare planning for the future.
He highlighted other benefits that investing more into molecular diagnostics and research, an aspect of laboratory medicine, would bring to include improved capacity to curtail threat of biological warfare and terrorism; paternity and forensic medicine; prenatal and antenatal diagnosis of inherited diseases; organ transplantation treatment; as well as accurate diagnosis of disease, monitoring of treatments and prediction of treatment outcomes.
The expert, declaring that molecular pathology was the key to the medicine of the future, urged that evidence-based medicine had necessitated a paradigm shift in the way healthcare was practiced.
According to him, “in the laboratory, for instance, these new technologies require that we do things differently. The paradigm shift would be in laboratory management, workflow organisation and health information management.”
Dr Adeoye stated that the paradigm shift would also require doctors selecting only appropriate tests for their patients, collaborating with pathologists in the diagnosis and planning of treatment for different diseases.Share