Improved budgetary allocation and releases has been identified as a major tool to sustain public financing for Epidemic Preparedness and Response (EPR), with the aim of strengthening the Lagos State public health security and EPR systems for effective detection and response to infectious diseases.
This was disclosed by Tina Obinna-Anikpe, the Lagos State Coordinator of the Prevent Epidemics Project funded by the Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI) and being implemented by Legislative Advocacy Initiative for Sustainable Development (LISDEL) in partnership with the Lagos State Civil Society participation for Development, LACSOP.
Obinna-Anikpe made this known while speaking at the review meeting of the Lagos State EPR advocacy plan with Civil Society Organizations and Media groups.
She also mentioned that there is a need for evidence based advocacy actions to facilitate prompt and immediate releases of epidemic preparedness and response fund for the planned activities as well as increased awareness among policymakers on the need to prioritize health security actions in the state.
Speaking on the importance of a legal framework on EPR, Obinna-Anikpe explained that, “the Lagos State Ministry of Health (LSMOH) through the newly established department of Epidemiology, Biosecurity and Global Health is responsible for preparedness and response to emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases involves in Lagos State.
“Development of various legal, policy and institutional frameworks are ongoing in Lagos state. This includes the development of the Lagos emergency preparedness, biobanking and biosecurity plan policy document. This draft policy document is yet to be finalized and operationalized for EPR in the state.
“Similarly, the state has no comprehensive Legal framework for health security actions even though there exist the Lagos State Corona virus pandemic Law in the state. For instance, the law is restricted to Covid 19 pandemic and doesn’t extend to address pandemics and other health security threats in the state,” she added.
She thereafter noted that, “achieving improved health security requires all stakeholders’ involvement, from provision of sound legal, institutional and policy framework for EPR, and adequate investment in epidemic preparedness and response, to commitment of state governments to implement EPR in the state.”
CSOs and Media participants commit to be involved in advocacies to different policy makers to improve the status of EPR in Lagos state.