ABUJA- THE Senate has begun moves to probe the spread of Lassa fever in 14 states in the country.
Resolutions of the Senate, yesterday, were sequel to a motion by Senator Clifford Ordia (PDP, Edo Central), co- sponsored by Senator Lanre Tejuoso (APC, Ogun Central), entitled: "Urgent need to support the Centre for Research, Control and Treatment of Lassa Fever Disease in Nigeria".
The Senate also urged the Federal Government to, through Ministry of Health, urgently provide the centre all necessary equipment to enable it meet its responsibilities to Nigerians seeking medical care at the centre.
He said: "The institute is the only centre in Nigeria known for excellence in the management, control and treatment of Lassa fever in Nigeria. The first case brought to the FMC, Asaba was that of a 43-year-old male resident in the state who was successfully treated and later referred to Irrua Specialist Hospital, Edo State and is responding to treatment", Mr. Azinge disclosed.
He urged the committees of Health, Primary Health Care and Communicable Diseases to look into the outbreak of Lassa fever and how it can be stopped permanently. Previous year alone, the centre trained 67 health workers from 15 states with reported cases of the outbreak.
The governor's directive came less than a week after an exclusive report by the Sunday PUNCH that the specialist hospital had only two dedicated dialysis machines to cater for the growing number of cases at the treatment centre.
Noting that the state was committed to providing clean, potable water to the people in rural communities, Ohonbamu said, "EXCO approved 600 million naira as counterpart fund by the state government to access 1.4 billion naira from the EU-UNICEF for the implementation of the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) project in rural communities in the state".
Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, who presided, said health care should be one of the major responsibilities of government.
He said: "If this matter is not addressed, we will be giving out our responsibilities".
"We need to give this issue the attention it needs". We need to provide the needed equipment they need to work with. "We can not allow this to continue to spread", he said.