By Winnifred Ehimhen
The Benue State House of Assembly during Thursday plenary passed the Highly Infectious Diseases, Prevention and Management Bill 2020 into Law, after a clause by clause consideration in a Committee of the Hall.
Chairman, House Committee on Human Services and member representing Oju 2 Constituency, Hon. Joseph Okponya who led debate on the Bill explained that it seeks to address the management and prevention of highly infectious diseases declared by the World Health Organization and other relevant bodies.
According to the content of the Bill, infectious diseases are such that cause serious and eminent threat to public health of the people. The diseases include Ebola, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Coronavirus among others.
Hon. Okponya further stated that the Law will make provision for the Governor to make urgent procurement for the needed medical facilities, establishment of isolation centres with proper care of infected persons, health workers as well as provision of funds to be used properly for preventing and combating further spread of such infectious diseases, while Local Governments are to contribute funds for combating any outbreak of highly infectious diseases.
The Law also gives retired health workers below the age of 70 years, private organizations and nongovernmental organizations to assist government and relevant agencies to develop policies and provide services towards combating highly infectious diseases.
The Bill which was sponsored by the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Titus Uba and nine other members was signed by Clerk of the Assembly, Dr Torwase Agena following a motion moved by Hon. Okponya for its passage.
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