The Nigerian Senate on Wednesday passed the Health Emergency Bill to provide for a national framework for the control of outbreaks of infectious diseases in the country.
The development followed the consideration of a report by the Committee on Primary Healthcare and Communicable Diseases.
The bill seeks to make provisions relating to quarantine and make regulations for preventing the introduction into and spread in Nigeria of declared infectious diseases and for other related matters.
According to Chairman of the committee, Senator Chukwuka Utazi, the bill seeks to establish an updated and comprehensive legislative framework providing for the norms, basis for the making of regulations, rules and guidelines and measures to be applied in the event of any outbreak of infectious and contagious diseases or public health event within or outside Nigeria.
“It also provides the framework that will necessitate a declaration by the appropriate authority of a public health emergency and to provide a sound basis for the measures and actions of the appropriate authorities during the period of the public health emergencies to control and contain the spread of infectious or contagious diseases or public health events,” Utazi said.
He further stated that the bill, if signed into law, would ensure a timely response, control and management of public health emergencies coupled with necessary checks and balances, accountability and control.