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    Monkey pox: Senate urges FG on proactive measures to combat disease

    By Christiana Ekpa and Ikechukwu Okaforadi

    Senate yesterday urged the Federal Government, the Federal Ministry of Health, States and Local Governments to be pro-active in containing and preventing the spread of Monkey Pox disease.
    The Upper Legislative Chamber equally called for proper liaison by the Federal Government with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other relevant donor agencies for contingencies against eventualities.
    Monkey Pox is a rare and infectious disease caused by monkey virus, transmitted from animals to human and with symptoms similar to those of smallpox.
    The first incident of the disease in Nigeria was reported on Sept. 22 in Bayelsa.
    The resolution of the senate followed the adoption of a motion on the “Urgent need for pro-active steps to nip in the bud reported outbreak of Monkey Pox Disease in Nigeria sponsored by Sen. Ali Wakili (APC-Bauchi) during plenary.
    The senate also advocated enlightenment and education of citizens about measures that could be taken to mitigate risk factors of exposure to the virus.
    Presenting the motion, Wakili said that Monkey Pox infections resulted from direct contact with the blood, bodily fluids, cutaneous or mucosal lesions of infected animals.
    “Similarly, human infections have also been documented through the handling of infected monkeys, rats and squirrels with rodents being the major reservoir of the virus.”
    Decrying the spread of the menace, the lawmaker said that there were no specific treatments in the provision or availability of vaccine for Monkey Pox infections.
    “And that Nigerians had been thrown into panic as the country’s health sector is facing a myriad of challenges “Since there is no vaccine or specific treatment, the only ways to reduce the infection in people is through awareness of risk factors, enlightenment about measures to be taken to reduce exposure to the virus.”
    Contributing, Sen. Magnus Abe(APC-Rivers) said there was need for proactive measures to be put in place in order to tackle the disease
    “This is because nobody knows when the net disease will happen and how will tackle it,”he said On his part, Sen. Emmanuel Paulker (PDP-Bayelsa) who decried that the spread of the disease was sporadic said all hands must be on deck to curtail it.
    The resolutions were adopted by all the lawmakers after a voice vote raised by the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki.

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