Public Health Law: Kaduna reviews, sends new Bill to State Assembly

By Uangbaoje Alex, Kaduna

The Kaduna State Government has commenced the review of it Public Health Law, which provides a framework for the regulation of health behavior among citizens in the state.

The law when enacted, will serve as tools that will assist the state in the task of protecting people from threats to health and preventing diseases, which is expected to improve healthy behavior among the population.

The draft Bill which is currently before the State Executive Council, awaiting approval, covers issues of public health and also include animal control, environmental health, food safety, occupational risk, grievance redress.

The law is expected to protect and promote public health, control the risk to public health, promote the control of infectious diseases, prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

Is also meant to recognize and identify the role of community in protecting public health, monitor diseases and conditions affecting public health and equally impose sanctions where necessary.

Speaking at a two-day orientation for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), in Kaduna on the law, organized by the State Ministry of Health with support from Lafiya Project, an FCDO program in Nigeria, the State Commissioner for Health Dr. Amina Baloni, said the law is not entirely new as it was first enacted in 1917, and was reviewed in 1980, 1991 and 1999 respectively.

Dr. Baloni, who spoke through her representatives, Mallam Lawal Abubakar, noted that the state found that the law have become obsolete following the emergence and reemergence of diseases globally.

He, said though the old law is not going to be completely repealed because there are several sections of it that are still relevant, but that there were some of sections that have made new entrance into the law.

According to him, reviewing the law is in the interest of the public, adding that the law meets global standard, as a committee of experts was constituted to draft the new version of the law.

He added that the good thing about the current version of the law is that it is going to be implemented by different Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), unlike the old one whose implementation lied solely on the ministry of health.

Lawal, further stated that the goal of the law is not to punish anybody who would pose risk to the health of the public, but to help them understand the danger of their actions so they don’t even allow it to happen.

He therefore called on the Civil Societies to pay attention to the document and note their observations and concerns before it is sent to the state Assembly, so that their inputs can be effected during the public hearing.

In a brief remarks, Health Security Consultant for Lafiya Project, Dr. Umar Bello, appealed to the CSOs to help push for the speedy passage and implementation of the law for the benefit of Kaduna citizens.


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