The Federal Government has been charged to embark on aggressive enlightenment and education of the citizens about measures that can be taken to mitigate risk factors of exposure to the reported outbreak of monkey pox virus in Nigeria.
The urge is a part of senate resolutions on Tuesday, following a motion by Senator Ali Wakili (Bauchi South) on the “urgent need for pro-active steps to nip in the bud reported outbreak of monkey pox disease in Nigeria.”
The motion drew senate attention to the reported outbreak of the disease in some parts of Nigeria, stressing that the Monkey pox virus which was first identified in Denmark in 1958 during an investigation into a pox-like disease amongst monkeys, and later identified in humans in 1970 in Zaire, (now Democratic Republic of Congo) in a 9 year old boy, has reported found its way into Nigeria.
Nothing that the pox can be diagnosed in laboratories where the virus can identified by a nunber of different tests, Senator Wakili expressed worry that there are no specific treatments in the provision or availability of a vaccine for monkey-pox infections and that Nigerians have been thrown into panic as the country’s health sector sector is facing a myriad of challenges.
He explained that 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 meaures to be taken to reduce exposure to the virus, reduction of possibility of animal to human transmission and through cooking of all animal products before consumption.
in his contribution to the debate, Senator Magnus Abe called federal government not to relent in ensuring that the disease does not spread to other parts of the country beyond Bayela, Lagos and Rivers States where it has been reportedly identified.
The senate in its resolutions to the motion, urged the Federal Government through the ministry of health, the various states and local governments and community based organizations to be pro-active in containing and preventing the spread of monkey pox disease from where it was reported to have occured.
It also called for proper liaison by the Federal Government with the World Health Organization and other relevant
donor agencies for contingences against eventualities.
Chris Emetoh, Abuja