The House of Representatives has warned of fresh outbreak of Ebola in Nigeria.
At plenary on Tuesday, the House called on the Federal Government to enforce checks at the airports, seaports and land borders to prevent a spread of the disease.
Adopting the first motion moved by Paschal Obi, entitled, ‘Looming recurrence 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.”
Moving the motion, Obi said, “The House commends the Federal Government for its efforts at 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 the airport route, 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.”
The House also called for the immortalisation of the late Dr Stella Adadevoh for sacrificing her life to prevent the spread of the virus from Lagos State to other parts of the country in 2014, after Moshood Akiolu moved a motion entitled, ‘Immortalisation of Dr Stella Ameyo Adadevoh.’
Members of the House observed a minute silence in memory of Adadevoh, her medical team and all Nigerians who died from the Ebola virus, and urged 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 urged the Federal Ministry of Health to “assess and certify Nigeria’s emergency preparedness against unexpected epidemics.” It also called 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.”
Moving the motion, Akiolu 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.
“Dr Adadevoh had been consistent in her acts of patriotism even before the Ebola incident; 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”, Akiolu added.