By Ojoma Akor
The Federal Government has advised states to strengthen surveillance and response mechanism to polio, Lassa fever and other diseases in the country.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, made the call at the pre-59th National Council on Health meeting in Abuja yesterday.
He said this had become necessary following the resurgence of wild polio virus in Borno State and persisting Lassa fever outbreaks in some states and also to ensure timely and effective interventions.
He said the federal government would continue to work with the states, partners and neighbouring countries to maintain high level of surveillance on the control of polio till the disease is eradicated globally.
The minister also urged states to be fully involved in the implementation of the National Health Act 2014, National Health Policy 2016 and the revamping of the Primary Health Care (PHC) system initiative.
Adewole said Nigeria had developed and implemented two National Health policies in 1988 and 2004, adding that with the National Health Policy of 2016 underway, it has become expedient to reflect on the unfinished agenda of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), emerging health issues and the National Health Act 2014, among others.
The Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, said Nigeria had recorded seven confirmed cases of Lassa fever in six states within the past three weeks.
The states include; Delta, Bauchi, Plateau, Gombe, Rivers and Ondo.
He said the NCDC had set up a Lassa fever working group to carry out investigations in the affected states, supply medicines and strengthen state disease surveillance and response committees, among other functions