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An Evaluation of Nigeria’s Legal Framework for Environmental Infection Control

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Abstract

Following the menacing impacts of the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in Nigeria, occasioned by the July 20, 2014 admission of an acutely ill traveller from Liberia to Nigeria, the relevance, adequacy and efficiency of Nigeria’s legal regime on environmental infection control has come under intensive scrutiny. Gallons of juristic ink have been spilled by commentators and scholars on the need for new laws to prevent the admission and spread of infectious diseases in Nigeria. This paper argues that Nigeria already has robust environmental infection control laws which if holistically and effectively implemented could have prevented the menacing impacts of the Ebola outbreak in Nigeria. This article reviews and examines how key provisions of the 1999 Constitution, Quarantine Act 1926, The Agriculture (Control of Importation) Act of 1964, The Factories Act of 1987, and the NESREA Act provide adequate legal foundation and basis for policy and regulatory intervention in preventing the introduction and spread of infectious diseases in Nigeria.
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