Health Law Consulting, Development Advisory and Research services

Validation Meeting of Lagos State

HELC, with the support of RTSL, conducted an assessment of the laws and policies in Lagos State, which was subsequently presented for validation during a meeting chaired by Prof Akin Emmanuel Abayomi, the Honorable Commissioner of Health for Lagos State, on November 22, 2022.

The assessment focused on evaluating the legal and policy framework of Lagos State and its alignment with the International Health Regulations (IHR). The report examined the authority of Lagos State to enact laws that ensure adherence to the IHR and assessed the extent to which this authority has been utilized. It identified the existing laws in Lagos State, their objectives, and their relevance to the IHR. The analysis also utilized the 12 Characteristics of Effective Public Health Emergency Laws to evaluate their capacity to effectively address public health emergencies.

The report identified certain gaps in the provisions of the laws in several key areas. For example, it highlighted the lack of detailed provisions regarding immunization, inadequate protection of human rights during public health emergencies, the absence of specific provisions for surveillance of animal, food, or environmental-borne diseases, the absence of funding provisions for health security and emergency preparedness, and the lack of provisions for treatment with dignity and provision of basic amenities during public health emergencies, including palliative measures.

Furthermore, the report emphasized the need for a comprehensive surveillance and notification system, provisions for collaboration with the Federal Government in responding to public health events, protection of human rights and data privacy in the context of applying public health measures as outlined in the IHR, among other areas.

The assessment report serves as a valuable tool to identify gaps and areas of improvement in the legal and policy framework of Lagos State. By highlighting these gaps, it provides a foundation for necessary revisions and amendments to enhance the effectiveness and alignment of the laws with the IHR requirements. The report aims to support Lagos State in strengthening its legal framework to effectively address public health emergencies and ensure the protection and well-being of its population.

The report recommends a thorough review of specific provisions within the examined laws, particularly the Lagos State Public Health Law and the Lagos State Health Sector Reform Law. The focus of the review should be on incorporating principles that protect human rights, safeguard personal data, and establish appropriate protocols for handling the personal information of infected individuals or those in isolation, ensuring compliance with the provisions of the IHR. The possibility of developing a new, comprehensive bill is also suggested to ensure alignment with international standards.

During the validation meeting, the importance of ongoing engagement with stakeholders was emphasized. This interaction is necessary to establish a committee responsible for reviewing and amending the existing health security legislation, ultimately submitting it as a bill. Continual collaboration and communication with Lagos State’s stakeholders are crucial in conveying the significance of having a robust public health security law. HELC remains committed to advocating for the reform of Lagos State’s health security laws, prioritizing compliance with the criteria outlined in the IHR. The lessons learned from the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic serve as valuable insights to inform these efforts.

Scroll to Top