Biomedical Science Technologists in Lagos Universities: Meeting Modern Standards in Biomedical Research
Biomedical science has advanced drastically in developed countries but has not thrived in Nigeria. The contribution from Nigerian and other African univeristies to publications in global high impact journals is low (Tijssen, 2007). The present investigation is a cross sectional questionnaire survey of technical staff manning basic biomedical science departments of the two (federal and state) public universities in Lagos, Nigeria in order to determine factors that can be instruments of change for better science in Nigeria. Open-ended and close-ended questions were used and the 17 respondents were asked about: 1) their major gains at technical experts; 2) factors that affected their work negatively; 3) factors that affected their work positively; 4) changes they would like to see in biomedical science in Nigeria; 5) their knowledge of ten state-of-the-arts (SOTA) biomedical science terms; 6) their use of the Internet for professional information. Asked about their major gains as technical experts, the response with the highest frequency was “participation in research” (5/17). The strongest factors affecting their work negatively were “lack of equipment” (12/17) and “lack of materials” (10/17). The strongest factor affecting their work positively was “teamwork” (4/17). The dominant suggestion for change was “provision of modern equipment” (11/17). On SOTA terms, the responses for “I’m unfamiliar” (25.29%) and for “I’m familiar” (27.65%) were similar; the frequency for “I’m involved” was very low (4.71%) and none of the respondents claimed themselves as experts on any of these terms. Respondents have a keen interest in research and have connections with global information through the Internet but lacked experience in SOTA biomedical techniques. SOTA biomedical science needs adequate financial investment for the scientific resources as well as stable civic infrastructure, thus these public institutions need more of such provisions.
KEY WORDS: biomedical science, state-of-the-arts, technical staff