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15 May 2018

Senate pleads with JOHESU to end strike amidst Ebola outbreak

The Senate, on Tuesday pleaded with the Joint Health Sector Union  to call off the over three weeks strike it embarked on which has affected the health sector across the country.

The union had on April 18, embarked on industrial action due to the “insensitivity and lackadaisical attitude of drivers of the health sector’’.

The Senate’s resolution was sequel to a motion on “Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Need to Take Precautionary Measures” by Senator Oluremi Tinubu (APC-Lagos) during plenary.

The upper chamber also urged the Minister of Interior to take necessary steps to check immigration.

It further urged the Minister of Health to ensure alertness to combat whatever cases that might arise and get Ebola vaccines ready for an emergency

Tinubu recalled that an infected immigrant, Mr Patrick Sawyer who arrived Nigeria in July 23, 2014 was notable for been the index case for the introduction of Ebola virus into Nigeria.

Tinubu, who is Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment said the tide, as at then, was stemmed by quick response of the government.

She said that recent reports by the WHO, showed that the disease was back in neighboring Congo with 19 deaths and 39 infected casualties recorded so far.

“The WHO states that Nigeria and other African countries are at risk of spread.

The lawmaker said that unless hospitals were prepared properly and equipped with Ebola vaccines, it would be an epidemic Nigeria might be unable to take on.

Contributing, Senate Chief Whip, Senator Olushola Adeyeye called on the Senate to intervene for a quick resolution of the ongoing strike by health workers

On his part, Senator Victor Umeh APGA-Anambra) noted that “prevention of the disease was better than cure.

“We must ensure that Nigeria is not taken unawares again. We should be on the alert,” he said.

In his remarks, Senate President Bukola Saraki, said all stakeholders must ensure adequate steps were taken to forestall any occurrence.

(NAN)

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