Senate passes health emergency bill

Written by on January 28, 2022

The Senate has passed the National Health Emergency Bill which seeks to provide a national framework for the control of outbreaks of infectious diseases in Nigeria.

The bill was passed on Thursday after the Senate received the report of the Committee on Primary Healthcare and Communicable Diseases.

The bill titled, “A Bill for an Act to Provide for an Effective National Framework for the Control of Outbreaks of Infectious Diseases and Other Events Endangering Public Health and Requiring Public Health Emergency Measures and For Other Related Matters (SB. 413)”, was first introduced to the Senate in 2020.

The legislation, which also seeks to repeal the 96 year-old Quarantine Act, is sponsored by Chukwuka Utazi (PDP, Enugu North).

If signed into law, it would establish a legal and administrative framework for handling outbreaks of infectious and contagious diseases that portend a major threat to public health safety within Nigeria, or are likely to be transmitted into Nigeria or outside Nigerian borders.

Many Nigerians consider the bill to be the Senate version of the controversial Control of Infectious Disease Bill which was introduced in the House of Representatives earlier.

The House bill had generated outrage among Nigerians majorly because of the provisions of the bill and the speedy consideration and passage by members of the House.

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