The government of Oyo State has inaugurated a 20-man committee that will review its public health law, to meet current realities and solve health challenges in the state.
The committee, drawn from relevant ministries, agencies, law enforcement agencies, health institutions, civil society organizations amongst others, is expected to converge next week for the task ahead.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Olusoji Adeyanju, in a chat with journalists, shortly after the inauguration at the Conference Hall of the Ministry, said the move was based on the need to continually preserve and promote community health.
Dr. Adeyanju explained that the law after review will play a significant role in curtailing the outbreak of emerging and re-emerging diseases.
He noted that the job before the committee requires collective efforts, urging them to come up with workable and applicable laws that will stand the test of time.
Adeyanju said: “The task ahead of the committee is to ensure the law shows the current reality on ground in the health sector and public health issues that are of public health importance”.
“The people of Oyo state will benefit from it and their health will be sustained and promoted, I believe the committee will do justice to that”, he said.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice and Solicitor-General of Oyo State, Mrs. Evelyn Akintunde maintained that the document, which would be reviewed according to the extant laws of the State, would help improve the health status and well-being of residents of the state.
While stressing the importance of the review, Mrs. Akintunde explained that the Oyo State Government identified several lacunae in the law and set up a committee which will come up with a draft containing proposals.
She added that the review of the state’s public health law is long overdue, as the law has not been reviewed since 1978, adding that the committee will ensure the draft conforms with national health practices and addresses public health challenges.
“We commend the ministry of health and other relevant MDAs who would join in this review, and we will ensure the draft conforms with national practices that will address public health challenges”, she said.
The Oyo state Commissioner of Police, CP Adebola Hamzat represented at the event by Mr. Patrick Okafor, lauded the state for its pace setting activities.
He revealed that having existing workable laws in place would make the enforcement easier.
Hamzat pledged the support of the Nigerian police during the process of reviewing the law and after the enactment.
The event had in attendance the Permanent Secretary, Hospitals Management Board, Dr. Mufutau Ayoola; the Executive Secretary, Oyo SACA.