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Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences

Welcome Message from The Head of Department- Medical Laboratory Sciences

Welcome to the web portal of the Department of Medical Laboratory Science at the University of Calabar in Nigeria. The Department of Medical Laboratory Science commenced academic activities in the University of Calabar in 1983 with an initial admission of ten students. Prof. S. J. Utsalo, then Dr. S. J. Utsalo, was appointed to be the pioneer Coordinator of the program. Since then, the Department has grown to become one of the best centers of training in Medical Laboratory Science in sub-Saharan Africa. The main academic focus of the Department is to teach and train students to know the different procedures involved in sample collection and analyzes of blood and other body fluids including urine, bone marrow, saliva, sweat, joint fluids, and tissue samples and from there, identify diseased tissues and organs in the body, monitor the overall health of patients and detect diseases. We encourage you to go through the different pages in our Departmental portal and find out more information about our academic programs, courses and curriculum, research, staffing structures, facilities, and other information,

Our Department has a well-articulated, robust and flexible course curriculum that is used in training students for the award of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Medical Laboratory Science. The curriculum is robust enough to cater to future challenges in a highly competitive and technology-driven field. We have a rare aggregation of highly trained and experienced academic staff, led by over fifteen of them at the professorial cadre and many other lower cadre staff. The academic staff members are always willing and committed to sharing their professional experiences with students through teaching, inspiring, training, laboratory postings, and research activities within and outside the classrooms. They are always supported by professional and administrative staff, who are always at hand to provide necessary support and consequently, help students settle down in the Department. Our students are always taught to learn, acquire skills and knowledge, and consequently, develop an enriching experience that enables them to become accomplished professionals in their future practices.

The Department has high-end laboratories that are adequately equipped with state-of-the-art equipment that helps students to learn faster and practice better. We have four different specialized laboratories and each of them is headed by an experienced and committed academic staff. The laboratories are Medical Laboratory, Haematology, Chemical Pathology, and Histopathology. Students usually go round these laboratories during laboratory postings from where they start building valuable experiences and enrich their memories in the arts, science, and practice of medical laboratory science. Our series of intense and rigorous academic and professional training programs, which are as prescribed by The National University Commission and The Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria, inculcate the spirit of resilience in students. The Department has produced great and highly accomplished scientists, who are occupying excellent jobs positions in hospitals, research centres, universities, ministries, and entrepreneurial fields. Their huge accomplishments and contributions have been very instrumental to the continued sustenance of our rich academic culture and practices.

If you are seeking for a university to study and become an accomplished and professional Medical Laboratory Scientists, we strongly encourage you to consider enrolling in any of our academic programs. If you have any comments, suggestions, and feedback, kindly forward them to us through any of our contact channels.

Thank you for visiting our web portal as we hope to meet you soon.

Best wishes.

Dr Augusta C. Nsonwu-Anyanwu

Head of Department

Mission / Vision / Philosophy / Objective


The mission of the program are as follows:

1.     To produce high quality graduates in Medical Laboratory Science with theoretical, practical and entrepreneurial skills

2.     To provide graduates with broad intellectual capacity stimulated by exposure in a dynamic conducive learning environment through research and teaching.

3.      To produce scientists that can apply their knowledge and skill in arears of healthcare delivery, food and beverages production, pharmaceutical industries, research institutions and water corporations etc.


To be a Centre of Excellence producing globally competitive graduates and contributing significantly to development through research.


The philosophy of this program is to:

 1.  Provide an in-depth scientific and professional background to enhance the practice of Medical Laboratory Science anywhere in Nigeria and elsewhere.

2.     Produce Medical Laboratory Scientists who would satisfy internationally recognizable standards and who could undertake further training towards specialization

3.     Produce Medical Laboratory Scientists with sufficient management ability to play a leadership role and entrepreneurship in employing others, establishing self and also in training and general practice of laboratory science.



The main aims and objectives of the Bachelor’s Honours Degree in Medical Laboratory Science are:

1.   To instill in students a sense of enthusiasm for the profession; an appreciation of its application in different contexts (in areas such as general health care, food and beverages, pharmaceutical industries, utility department e.g. water corporations, research institutes, etc.).

2.   To involve the students in an intellectually stimulating and satisfying experience of learning, studying and research.

3.   To provide students with a broad and balanced foundation of medical laboratory knowledge and practical skills; performing effectively in clinical diagnostic services, academics and quality assurance and function independently or in collaboration with other members of the health team in the care of individuals and groups at all levels of health care

4.   To develop in students the ability to apply their medical laboratory knowledge and skills to the solution of theoretical and practical problems in laboratory diagnostic health care.

5.   To develop in students through an education in medical laboratory science, a range of transferable skills of value in medical and non-medical employment

6.   To provide students with a knowledge and skills base from which they can proceed to further studies in specialized areas involving medical sciences

7.   To generate in students an appreciation of the importance of medical laboratory science in an industrial, economic, environmental, health and social context

8.   To generate students with the ability to produce biological and diagnostic reagents as well as being able to fabricate and maintain laboratory equipment

9.   To also empower graduates of medical laboratory science with skills that will enable them to engage in income yielding ventures i.e., a reorientation from the “take a job” mentality to the “make a job mentality”.


The Medical Laboratory Science program commenced in the University of Calabar in 1983 with a pioneer intake of ten (10) students admitted through the University Matriculation Examination (UME) as a 4-year Programme administered by a Coordinator, appointed by the Vice-Chancellor. The pioneer coordinator of the Programme was Dr. S. J. Utsalo (now a Professor).


The pioneer students of the program were enrolled for four (4) year study leading to the award of the Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Technology (BSc-MLT) ours was the first degree-awarding Programme on this subject (MLS) East of the Niger. Of the first batch of 10 students, 8 graduated in 1987.  From this time the program has grown from year to year in several students, staff, equipment, and facilities.


In the year 2000 under Dr. A.E Udoh’s (now a Professor) Coordinator-ship, the Programme received the approval of the University of Calabar Senate to run for 5 years in line with the National Universities Commission recommendations for Professional programs. The 5 years Programme started in the 1995/96 academic session to allow time for program development and other logistics that would accompany such program transformation. It was also during this period that the program attained the status of a full department. The nomenclature of the degree also changed from B.Sc.-MLT to Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science (BMLS) in the 2000/2001 academic session.


Since 2000, the Department has had at least 6 Heads as is the culture of the University of Calabar to rotate leadership of Departments among qualified academic staff. Each of these individuals is worthy of commendation for their immense contributions towards the sustenance of this program.


 The success of the department does not only lie with the Heads of the Department.  The Department of Medical Laboratory Science is operational under 4 different Laboratory Units. Each of these Laboratory Units had at one time or the other been headed by the academic staff in the various departments - for Medical Microbiology, Prof. G. C. Ejezie, Prof S. J. Utsalo, Prof. J. Epoke,  Prof. L. Abia-Bassey & Prof. M. F. Useh; for Haematology, Prof.S. J. Utsalo, Prof. A. O. Emeribe, Dr. E. A. Usanga, Prof. E. K. Uko & Dr. I. A. Ibanga; for Chemical Pathology, Prof. A. E. Udoh, Prof  D. M. Bolarin, Prof. M. Etukudoh & Prof. C. A. Usoro, and for Histopathology, Prof. I. Ekanem. 


It is worthy of note that this Department would not have attained this success without the support of the professional staff and the laboratory scientists in the UCTH laboratories where our students are being trained. Again, it is of note that the Department is credited as being the first in the country in teaching and training Medical Laboratory Scientists. The graduates of the Department are found in academics, diagnostics, laboratory management, biomedical engineering, etc. All these are tangible rewards of the collective efforts of the Department


It is our prayer that we continue to work hard towards repositioning the Department to a greater height.




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Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences
University of Calabar
Cross River State

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