The House of Representatives has raised the alarm over a fresh Ebola virus crisis in Nigeria, calling on the Federal Government to enforce checks at the airports, seaports and land borders.
The House also called for the immortalisation of the late Dr. Stella Adadevoh, “for sacrificing her life” towards preventing the Ebola virus from Lagos State to spread to other parts of Nigeria in 2014.
Particularly, the chamber asked the Federal Government to name a public health institution after Adadevoh.
These were part of the resolutions passed by the lawmakers at the plenary on Tuesday when they unanimously adopted two separate motions on Ebola.
Adopting the first motion moved by Paschal Obi, entitled, ‘Looming Re-occurrence of Ebola Crisis in Nigeria,’ the House urged the Federal Ministry of Health to “deploy necessary materials and personnel at the airports, seaports and land borders for carrying out screening exercise on passengers.”
The House also urged the Federal Government to set aside funds for the management of Ebola virus in the event of its re-occurrence in Nigeria, while mandating the committees on Health Care Services and Health Institutions to ensure that relevant agencies take precautionary measures to avert the re-occurrence of the Ebola disease in Nigeria.
Moving the motion, Obi said, “The House commends the Federal Government for its efforts in tackling the menace of the Ebola disease in 2014, notwithstanding the ravaging force it came with.
Given the proximity of the Democratic Republic of Congo to Nigeria and other West Africa countries, if necessary measures are not put in place to prevent the reoccurrence of the pandemic in a densely populated country like Nigeria, the impact may worsen and become difficult to curb.
“Aside from the airport rout which gave access to the initial outbreak of Ebola in Nigeria, there are other routes such as seaports and land borders which enable entry into Nigeria, hence, the need for precautionary measures to be extended to the seaports and land borders.”
Adopting another motion moves by Moshood Akiolu, entitled, ‘Immortalisation of Dr. Stella Ameyo Adadevoh,’ the House observed a minute silence in memory of Adadevoh, her medical team and all Nigerians who died from the Ebola virus.
The House urged the President (Muhammadu Buhari) to “recognise the heroic acts of patriotism of Dr. Stella Ameyo Adadevoh and her medical team and confer a befitting posthumous national honour on her.”
The lawmakers also urged the Federal Ministry of Health to “assess and certify Nigeria’s emergency preparedness against unexpected epidemics,” while calling on the Federal Ministry of Education and other related authorities to ensure “the inclusion of the heroic deeds of Dr. Adadevoh and other such national heroes in the country’s civic education curricula to build spirit of patriotism and nationalism in the young ones.”
Also, the federal parliament urged the Federal Government to recognise and provide every support necessary for Ebola virus survivors and the families of Ebola victims, while mandating the House Committee on Health Care Services to ensure compliance with the resolutions.
Moving the motion, Akiolu partly said, “Nigeria’s health sector was not fully prepared for the Ebola virus, hence, Dr. Adadevoh and members of her medical team had to make do with the resources available to them, and in the process were exposed to and eventually died from the virus.
“The House appreciates Dr. Adadevoh’s bravery and professionalism, which saved Nigeria from a devastating impact of an uncontrolled outbreak of the Ebola virus and, thus, prompted the government, good-spirited individuals and organisations, and the international community to deploy resources to curb the outbreak of Ebola virus.
“Dr Adadevoh had been consistent in her acts of patriotism even before the Ebola incidence, as in 2012, she was the first doctor to issue an alert to the Federal Ministry of Health on the need to take proactive steps when the HINI (Swine flu) spread to Lagos, an action that contributed to averting an outbreak of the flu.
“The House is concerned that failure to give due recognition to the heroic acts of Dr Adadevoh could dampen the spirit of patriotism among Nigerians, especially health care workers, and possibly deter others from making sacrifices for the nation.”