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FASHOLA: PUBLIC HEALTH LAW HELPED US CONTAIN EBOLA

Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos has attributed his administration’s effort at containing the out-break of Ebola virus disease to the passage of the public health law in the state, which according to him grants approval to government to arrest anyone whose health constitutes danger to others.

Fashola explained that without the health law which was passed in 2012, the success achieved would have been impossible, as the law was one of the major criteria required by its international health partners, in curtailing the virus.

—-Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, yesterday, gave insight into how the government was able to contain the out-break of Ebola Virus Disease, EVD, even as he said Nigeria needed to assist neighbouring countries still battling to contain the EVD pandemic.

The governor spoke at the fourth Lagos Corporate Assembly tagged; ‘BRF meets Business’ at the Lekki Free Zone, Ibeju-Lekki Local Government.

He said “They (Nigeria’s EVD victims) would have died in vain if we surrender to the virus. They are heroes and they must be appropriately recognized. We must continue to push forward in the fight against it. There is still problem in Liberia, Sierra Leone and others. Their population is not what we have in Nigeria especially in Lagos State. For Lagos alone, the capacity of the state encompasses many of those countries affected by the virus.”

The governor noted that the country should be considering how it would assist the countries still battling with the virus, noting “to help them solve their crisis using the method that we have applied here. That is the leadership role Nigeria should be playing on EVD at the moment.”

According to him, this should be part of the post Ebola activities because “we have the fifth largest economy in Africa.”

On the strategy used by the state, the governor said “Without the Public health law which was passed in 2002, we would have been in trouble. This was one of the things our partners asked immediately they arrived. The law gives the state the opportunity to arrest anyone whose health constitutes danger to others.  When we said yes, they were happy and they said that was where they started their work. Without the law, we could not have achieved what we did.

“When cremation law was passed few years ago, some residents kicked against it. We said it was not compulsory. But if Lagos wants to retain its status and achieve more, the law is needed. The law caters for foreigners that cremating is part of their life style. We did not foresee Ebola but the laws became a veritable tool for us to curtail the spread of the virus because corpses are more dangerous than the carrier of the virus. Other states are now going to the parliament to seek the passage of the law.”

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