Joe Effiong, Uyo
The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has asked the state’s Ministry of Health and other relevant authorities to be on red alert in order to prevent any recurrence of Lassa Fever in the state.
It has also called on the executive arm of government in the state to urgently establish a functional public health laboratory to enhance early diagnosis of Lassa Fever and other viral diseases.
The call was made at the House plenary on Tuesday, following a motion brought before it by the Deputy Leader and member representing Etinan State Constituency, Mr Aniefiok Dennis.
Dennis, in the motion, expressed worry over the proximity of states affected by the disease to Akwa Ibom and the national nature of inter-state travel which leads to the daily influx of people in and out of the affected states which he listed to include Rivers, Edo, Ebonyi, Anambra, Kogi, Kaduna, Borno, Jigawa, Ogun and Ondo.
With the recent outbreak of Lassa Fever in Nigeria and the deadly Coronavirus globally, the assemblyman said it was imperative that proactive measures be taken to protect the state from the spread of the deadly infectious diseases.
Consequently, the House, after receiving contributions from other members, urged the state Ministry of Health “to maintain high index of suspicion for Lassa Fever; be vigilant, activate the response systems, ensure active surveillance, early detection, isolation, case management and look out for signs and symptoms of the diseases and be ready to deal with possible outbreak.”
The House also called on the state Ministry of Information, Ethical and Attitudinal Reorientation Commission (EARCOM) to embark on aggressive public enlightenment, to educate members of the public about the killer diseases and to maintain high standards of personal hygiene while adhering to preventive measures.
While urging the state Ministry of Environment in conjunction with the Akwa Ibom State Waste Management Agency to promote a good and healthy environment, the lawmakers advocated the training of health personnel by the state government for prompt intervention, as it called for the establishment of a functional public health laboratory
The Speaker of the House, Mr Aniekan Bassey, thereafter, directed the Clerk of the House, Mrs Mandu Umoren, to communicate the resolution of the House to appropriate quarters.