By Henry Umoru
ABUJA— THE Senate has begun moves to probe the spread of Lassa fever in 14 states in the country.
It also stated its resolve to investigate steps taken so far by Ministry of Health to curb spread of the disease.
Against this backdrop, the Senate, yesterday, mandated its Committees on Health (Secondary & Tertiary) and Primary Health Care and Communicable Diseases, to urgently carry out the probe.
The affected states are Edo, Ondo, Ebonyi, Nasarawa, Imo, Kogi, Bauchi, Anambra, Benue, Federal Capital Teritory, Abia, Ekiti and Delta.
The Senate also urged the Federal Government to, through Ministry of Health, urgently provide the centre all necessary equipment to enable it meet its responsibilities to Nigerians seeking medical care at the centre.
Resolutions of the Senate, yesterday, were sequel to a motion by Senator Clifford Ordia (PDP, Edo Central), co- sponsored by Senator Lanre Tejuoso (APC, Ogun Central), entitled: “Urgent need to support the Centre for Research, Control and Treatment of Lassa Fever Disease in Nigeria.”
The upper chamber asked Ministry of Information and National Orientation to engage in the sensitisation and education of the public on the prevention, control and treatment of Lassa fever.
It also urged National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, to quickly visit the centre in Irrua Specialist Hospital for on-the-spot assessment, with a view to providing relief materials to the victims.
Senators eventually resolved to make more funds available for the centre in the 2018 budget and urged the Federal Government to set up centres in different parts of the country.
In his remarks, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided, noted that health care should be one of the major responsibilities of government.
He said: “If this matter is not addressed, we will be giving out our responsibilities. And to know that this issue has been going on for years is worrisome.”