Ebola: Nigeria is in dan­ger – FG

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Isi­aka Wak­ili

The Federal Govern­ment has raised the alarm that Nigeria is now in dan­ger of an out­break of Ebola fever.

Health Min­is­ter Onye­buchi Chukwu told State House cor­re­spon­dents af­ter yes­ter­day’s Federal Ex­ec­u­tive Coun­cil meet­ing that the govern­ment has re­alised that Ebola is a real threat.

He said: “Ebola has been mov­ing east­wards to­wards Nigeria as well and we’re al­ready fac­ing dan­ger from Cen­tral African Repub­lic, even with what’s hap­pen­ing in Congo. People are also mi­grat­ing to Chad. Chad and Cameroon are also in our borders. So, Nigeria is in dan­ger”.

Ac­cord­ing to him, bats which spread Ebola are seen by some Nige­ri­ans as bush meat.

He said: “bats eat fruits as well. So, some­times, if you go and pluck fruits that they (bats) have con­tam­i­nated with the virus, some­one can get in­fected.”

The min­is­ter, who ad­vo­cated per­sonal hy­giene, said the govern­ment had ap­proved ra­dio and tele­vi­sion jin­gles to be aired in var­i­ous lan­guages as well as news­pa­per ad­verts to sen­si­tize and ed­u­cate Nige­ri­ans on the Ebola fever.

“It’s true that as at to­day, we’ve not been able to re­port a sin­gle case of Ebola. But mind you, Ebola is not the only threat; it’s an added threat be­cause West Africa never had a sin­gle case of Ebola un­til this year. It was more in Cen­tral Africa. But now, we’ve added it to the ones that are even more na­tive to West Africa, which is Lassa fever,” Chukwu said.

“We’ll soon re­view our ad­verts for things like anti-malaria be­cause people still say if you’ve fever, take this drug for three days and if you don’t im­prove go and see your doc­tor. But we’re chang­ing all that be­cause now, if you wait three days for Ebola, you’re dead,” he said.

The Ebola Virus Dis­ease has caused the death of hun­dreds of people in Cen­tral and West Africa.

Over 100 people have died from the dis­ease in Guinea, while about 10 deaths have also been recorded in Liberia. The dis­ease is be­lieved to be spread through phys­i­cal con­tact or con­tact with fluid of in­fected per­sons.

The World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion said on Tues­day that it ex­pects the dis­ease to con­tinue in West Africa for the next few months.

Ac­cord­ing to the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion. In Africa, dur­ing Ebola Virus Dis­ease out­breaks, ed­u­ca­tional pub­lic health mes­sages for risk re­duc­tion should fo­cus on sev­eral fac­tors:

• Re­duc­ing the risk of wildlifeto-hu­man trans­mis­sion from con­tact with in­fected fruit bats or mon­keys/apes and the con­sump­tion of their raw meat. An­i­mals should be han­dled with gloves and other ap­pro­pri­ate pro­tec­tive cloth­ing. An­i­mal prod­ucts (blood and meat) should be thor­oughly cooked be­fore con­sump­tion.

• Re­duc­ing the risk of hu­man-to­hu­man trans­mis­sion in the com­mu­nity aris­ing from di­rect or close con­tact with in­fected pa­tients, par­tic­u­larly with their bod­ily flu­ids. Close phys­i­cal con­tact with Ebola pa­tients should be avoided. Gloves and ap­pro­pri­ate per­sonal pro­tec­tive equip­ment should be worn when tak­ing care of ill pa­tients at home. Reg­u­lar hand wash­ing is re­quired af­ter vis­it­ing pa­tients in hospi­tal, as well as af­ter tak­ing care of pa­tients at home.

• Com­mu­ni­ties af­fected by Ebola should in­form the pop­u­la­tion about the na­ture of the dis­ease and about out­break con­tain­ment mea­sures, in­clud­ing burial of the dead. People who have died from Ebola should be promptly and safely buried.

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