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House Tasks FG On Ebola Disease

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SAN FRANCISCO, July 02, (THEWILL) - The House of Representatives Wednesday called on the Federal Government to urgently initiate moves to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola disease into Nigeria.

It also mandated the House committees on Health and Disaster Preparedness to immediately start legislative work on the prevention of the dreaded disease.

The call was made after adopting a motion brought under matters of national importance by Hon. Kingsley Chinda, (PDP, Rivers).

In his lead debate, Chinda drew the attention of his colleagues to what he termed unsafe burial practices in West Africa, saying government needed to be proactive to prevent the spread of the disease into the country.

'Health is of utmost importance and one of the areas the Federal Government ought to give attention to so as to enhance the welfare of the people. Thus: S.17 (3c) of the 1999 as amended constitution states that the state shall direct its policy towards ensuring that the health, safety and welfare of all persons are safeguarded and not endangered,” he said.

The lawmaker argued that “it will be most appropriate if we start putting measures in place to avoid the most dreaded disease in the world from entering our country since it has ravaged Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Mali, Ivory Coast and others.”

According to him, “Since 2009, more than 400,000 West Africans had lost their lives to this deadly disease that is transmissible through blood contact, fluids, tissues of infected persons and high risk monkeys,' adding 'signs of infection are vomiting, stooling and high fever.”

He explained further: “The World Health Organisation (WHO) had repeatedly warned other African countries to do everything to avoid the disease from spreading into their countries; instead it has continued to increase.

“I urge all our relevant committees to quickly look into this matter to ensure that preventive measures are taken to avoid it from entering Nigeria.'

Hon. Friday Itulah, (PDP, Edo) however opposed the motion on the ground that government was already doing something through the Ministry of Health. He explained that “the impression this motion is creating is that the Federal Government is not doing its work and we are aware that government has done well in the right direction.'

Majority of the members however supported the motion and it was subsequently passed. It was referred to the Committee on Health for further legislative actions.