The House of Representatives has summoned the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, over the outbreak of monkeypox in the country.
The decision was taken during the House sitting in Abuja presided over by the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, on Tuesday.
The lawmakers expressed sadness over the spread of the disease, which has now been reported in seven states – Bayelsa, Rivers, Ekiti, Akwa Ibom, Ogun, River and Lagos.
This comes after the National Coordinator/Chief Executive Officer of the agency, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, confirmed that 31 cases of the monkeypox disease had been recorded in the country.
The Health minister’s comments that Nigeria was helpless as they await a laboratory response from Senegal, was questioned by the House.
A lawmaker from Bayelsa state Mr. Diri Douye, raised the issue under matters of urgent national importance, requesting that the minister be summoned.
The House immediately passed the request in an unanimous voice vote.
“The House is concerned by the shocking admission of Adewole that monkeypox could not be confirmed in Nigeria until laboratory investigations by WHO and referral to Dakar, Senegal,” the House motion read partly.
“Again, concerned that the disease has spread to other states, notably Uyo in Akwa Ibom State, in spite of concerted efforts by the Bayelsa State Government since the initial report in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
“The House invites the minister of health to explain the alarming situation of how a country, as vast and resourced as Nigeria, will depend on a laboratory in Dakar, Senegal, to analyse samples at such a critical time of national health crisis.
“To explain what measures and strategies the country has in place to be more proactive in the active surveillance and rapid case detection of cases for the prevention and containment of monkeypox as well as other viruses in future.”
The House commended the Bayelsa State Government for its “quick intervention and collaborative efforts” so far.