Senate proposes ways to curb Monkeypox epidemic

Chambers of the Nigerian Senate used to illustrate the story.
Chambers of the Nigerian Senate used to illustrate the story.

The Nigerian Senate has proposed ways to curb the spread of Monkeypox, which outbreak was first reported on Tuesday last week in Bayelsa State.

The disease has since been reported in at least seven other states in Nigeria.

The Senate while debating a motion sponsored by Ali Wakili, (APC-Bauchi), urged the Federal Government and other stakeholders to be pro-active in preventing the disease from becoming an epidemic.

The National Centre for Disease Control, Abuja, on Monday said 31 suspected cases had been recorded in the seven states.

The disease which broke out in Bayelsa State on September 22 has spread to Rivers, Ekiti, Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Ogun and Cross River states.

The Senate expressed worry that there is no specific treatment or available vaccine for monkey pox, saying the only ways to reduce the spread is through awareness of risk factors, enlightenment of the public and reduction of the possibility of animal to human transmission.

Lending his voice to the motion, Paulker Emmanuel, (PDP-Bayelsa), said the disease should be given more attention beyond Small Pox and Chicken Pox which are known to many Nigerians.

“This is a situation that calls for assistance of all Nigerians, and even the Federal Government. There is need to take pro-active steps in nipping the disease in the bud,” he said.

While commending the sponsor of the bill, Magnus Abe, (APC-Rivers), enjoined stakeholders to be pro-active in handling of diseases outbreak to avoid preventable deaths.

After debating the motion, the senate resolved to “urge the Federal Government through the Ministry of Health, State Governments, Local Governments and CBOs to be pro-active in containing and preventing the spread of Monkeypox disease from where it was reported to have occurred.”

The lawmakers also urged “aggressive enlightenment and education of the citizens about measures that can be taken to mitigate risk factors of exposure to the virus.”

Other prayers adopted include commencement of “sustained public health education via the broadcast, electronic, print and social media platforms” and that there should be a “proper liaison by the Federal Government with the WHO and other relevant donor agencies for contingencies against eventualities.”



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