Lassa feverHouse of Representatives on Wednesday directed the Federal Ministry of Health, National Centre for Disease Control and other relevant agencies to intensify efforts toward stamping out Lassa fever, which has so far claimed 41 lives.
In the bid to effectively tackle the deadly diseases, the House urged the government to ensure adequate provision of funds to tackle Lassa fever outbreak as a matter of emergency.
The lawmakers gave the charge following the adoption of the motion titled: ‘Urgent need to stop the embarrassing outbreak of Lassa fever virus in Nigeria and the need to step up the fight against further spread and loss of lives,’ sponsored by Chike Okafor, chairman, House Committee on Health Services.
The motion was subsequently referred to the Joint Committee on Health Services and Health Institutions for further legislative action.
In his lead debate, Okafor noted that the deadly disease, which has so far infected over 93 Nigerians, had spread to Bauchi, Nasarawa, Niger, Taraba, Kano, Rivers, Edo, Gombe, and Oyo states, respectively.
While stressing the need to take deliberate actions toward containing the disease, which currently has no cure, he observed, “this is the first time Lassa fever virus is occurring in Nigeria which has continued to wreck havoc in the lives of helpless Nigerians who fall victims of this disease.”
In his contribution, Ossai Ossai, chairman, House Committee on Ethics and Privileges, who expressed concern over the death toll, urged the relevant House Committees to do thorough work while engaging government agencies.