The Nigerian Senate has passed a public health bill to help guarantee public safety in the event of a future outbreak or any public health emergency.
This bill scaled through third reading just 24 hours after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the Nigeria and Senegal have “pretty much contained” the Ebola Virus Disease. According to the Senate, “the primary aim of the bill is to provide a system that is very well coordinated, pro-active and with appropriate response in any public health emergency”. The bill will also address the issue of early detection of any health emergency and enhance its investigation. Access to affected individuals health information under specific conditions will also be guaranteed by the bill.
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu who presided over the session reiterated the need for the bill following the containment of the Ebola virus disease. According to him, “the bill will be useful in future in the event of any other public health situation or emergency”
The public health bill seeks to grant health officials at all levels the authority to provide healthcare, treatment and vaccination as the situation may demand, to anyone who has been exposed to contagious diseases it also empowers them to separate such people from the general population and be kept in special facilities to prevent transmission.
By Shalkur Mamdam