Ebola: Fashola Visits As First Consultants Hospital Reopens

fashola_visits_First_consultants_HospThe Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, on Friday, visited the First Consultants Hospital Obalende in Lagos, which has been certified ready for operation after the decontamination done for its treatment of the index Ebola patient, the Liberian-American, Patrick Sawyer.

Governor Fashola, briefing newsmen after the tour of the facility, said that his visit to the hospital was in order to identify with the staff on the way forward, adding that since the Ebola Virus Disease had been dealt with professionally, the way forward was to get on with life.

“It was also a doctor who just refused to give up on them, Dr. Davis, and this is the way it must be. Whether you are a journalist, a soldier, a police officer or a footballer, just do what you do with dedication and all will be well”, he said.

The Governor said the first stage of the containment process was to save lives while the second stage was to help affected businesses get up and run again.

He reiterated the need for members of the public to put the issue of EVD behind and get on with their lives.

“We (Nigerians) must not live in fear of what we do not know. We have dealt decisively, comfortably and professionally with what we know. Anything that comes out from the woodworks then we must confront it again and deal with it and resolve it,” he said.

Governor Fashola also told the Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Benjamin Ohiaeri, to articulate the equipment losses suffered by the hospital as a result of the decontamination after the death of the index case, with the view to assisting the hospital replace such equipment.

He, again, paid glowing tribute to the hospital staff, particularly the management, for the role they played in bringing the index case to the knowledge of the State Government instead of taking the easy way out. He added that if they had not insisted on detaining the patient, the story would have been devastatingly different.

Addressing the public, Governor Fashola said that everything relating to the issue of Ebola has been settled, adding that what remains was for the people to ensure that they take cleanliness very seriously by washing their hands regularly with soap and water.

The CMD, Dr. Ohiaeri, while regretting both the human and material losses suffered by the hospital as a result of the EVD infection from the index case, praised the Governor and the State Ministry of Health for their prompt response to the information on the index case, adding that although the Governor was on lesser hajj at the period, the Ministry acted promptly and professionally.

First Consultants Hospital was where the index case of EVD in the country, Mr. Patrick Sawyer from Liberia, was received and attended to on Sunday, July 20, 2014, after he was rushed from the Murtala Mohammed International Airport where he collapsed on arrival from his country.

He died at the hospital on Friday, July 25. As a result, the hospital was shut down and decontaminated later with some of the equipment destroyed as part of the decontamination process.

With the Governor during the visit were some members of the State Executive Council including the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris and his Special Duties counterpart, Dr. Wale Ahmed as well as other top government officials.

Ebola: Lagos State Prepares Patients’ Isolation Ward

Fashola-Isolation-ward2The Lagos State government has prepared an Isolation ward for patients with symptoms of Ebola Virus Disease, to enable health workers contain the situation and reduce possible spread.

At an inspection visit to the the facility on Friday, the State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, said that the facility was ready for use, as the state tackles the outbreak of Ebola disease that has claimed two lives.

The Governor told reporters that he was there to see the environment in which the health workers handling the situation were working, the level of preparation and their level of protection.

“The State has a health challenge on her hands and the administration is concerned about the people in terms of their well-being and for the people who have taken leadership to help in containing it.

Not A Death Sentence

Also with the Governor were, the Commissioners for Health, Dr Jide Idris, Special Duties, Dr Wale Ahmed and Special Adviser on Public Health, Dr Yewande Adeshina.

The Governor, who interacted with some of the health workers met on ground, expressed appreciation for the work they were doing.

He emphasised that the Ebola Virus Disease was devastating, stressing, however, that contracting it is not an automatic death sentence.

“The consequences of death would depend on what is done and what is not done,” he said.

He stressed that there were already reported cases of patients who are recovering in other parts of West Africa and that the issue was about being able to respond to it appropriately and taking precaution.

“We are also taking precaution and that is also why we did not go into where the patients are because there is a very strict protocol for going there, so if you are going there, you must wear a fully protected gown. In the place where we are expanding to ensure that we are able to cope with anything that comes, you would see the shower there; people have to go through a protocol, one way in, one way out. That is why you cannot go into where patients are now unless you are fully protected appropriately and unless you walk through the mandated process for going in and for coming out”.

“Those who are detoxifying and decontaminating they don’t go in. They are waiting outside and those who go in do so under a very rigorous protocol set up with advise from the centre for disease control and then people who are not critically ill and stuffs, where they go and how we are going to be disposing off their refuse and their waste have been worked out. Provisions have already been made there so that we can separate very critically ill people from people who are just showing symptoms but who need to be in isolation,” Governor Fashola said.

Fashola said that provisions had also been made to separate critically ill people from people who are just showing symptoms but who need to be in isolation.

The governor pointed out that the first defence against the virus was to prevent it from spreading; stressing that once that is done, then the health authorities are on the way towards coming out of it.

“From what I hear following a long discussion I heard with the leadership of the Centre for Disease Control in Washington yesterday, I was speaking with them comparing what they were doing with what they expected us to be doing. Their personnel are here for clarity working and helping in training people,” the Governor explained.

He urged persons who feel they had had contact with an Ebola victim to ensure they do not make further contact with any member of their family.

The government is making all efforts to ensure that the spread of the virus is contained and the facility is one of the strategies aimed at reducing contact with persons with the virus.

Two new case was reported on Friday morning, increasing fears that the virus was spreading in one of Nigeria’s most populous cities, Lagos with over 20 million people.

Pregnant Woman, 5 Others Electrocuted In Lagos

Falling power poleTragedy struck in the early hours of Thursday at Oworonshoki area of Lagos as a pregnant woman and five others were electrocuted by a live cable that reportedly fell on a vehicle loaded with petrol.

Eyewitness account said that the vehicle exploded, setting the entire environment on fire.

Confirming the incident, the Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr. Wale Ahmed, said that the incident occurred at number 6 and 8 of Onabanjo Street and that a Power Holding Company of Nigeria cable sparked when power was restored.

He said that the spark was so forceful that it detached one of the live cables from the pole and landed on a vehicle loaded with 50 liters of PMS, resulting in the explosion.

Describing the incident, the eyewitness explained that the victims on hearing the explosion of the vehicle, rushed out of their homes but unfortunately ran into the detached live cable in front of their house and were all electrocuted.

The Director of the Lagos State Fire Service, Mr Rasak Fadipe, also confirmed the incident. He said that his men were able to contain the fire from spreading to nearby buildings.

The incident happened around 2.00 a.m. and the victims included three teenagers, a pregnant woman and another woman.

Lagos doctor’s strike is illegal

Empty hospital.......no doctors

The Lagos state government has described the three days warning strike by medical doctors that has commenced in the state’s medical institution as illegal.

The Commissioner for Special duties, Dr Wale Ahmed told Channels Television that there has been no written notices before the strike commenced as stipulated by labour laws.

“There was supposed to be a fifteen day notice before the strike  but we only heard of the strike verbally” stated Dr Ahmed.

The Lagos state Head of Service has also warned that any doctor that participate in the strike will not be paid fees accruable during the period.

There are 24 general hospitals owned by the Lagos state government and patients who visit the clinics as from today will not get services from the doctors who are embarking on a three day warning strike under the aegis of the Medical Guild.

According to the Chairman of the Medical Guild, Dr. Olumuyiwa Odusote,  the doctors were forced to embark on the industrial action  following the failure of the state government to implement the wage agreement it reached with the union.

“The state government has continued to fool the doctors with what he described as ‘flimsy excuses’ not to pay the approved and signed salary structure by Governor Babatunde Fashola. It is unfortunate the state government has refused to prevent the strike” said dr Odusote.

Members of the Medical Guild had threatened to embark on the warning strike to press home their demands for the full implementation of the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure, CONMESS, as well as the downward review of excessive taxation. But the state government, Odusote said, did not do anything to stop the action.

He also disclosed that the meeting between the government and medical guild last Wednesday ended in a stalemate, as he alleged that government had been reneging on its promises and shifting time for the implementation of the agreement.

“It is unfortunate that our government is speaking from both sides of the mouth.  While one of them will say we have agreed to pay, another will be telling us that they are not ready to pay.  Afterwards, the latter will deny that he or she ever said that.   How then will you believe such people?

“At the meeting last week, after one year, the state government was busy justifying the reasons why they have not fully implemented the agreement we entered into last year” he said.

Odusote, appealed to the people of the state to prevail on the government to fulfill its promise in order to prevent another crisis in the health sector.

However, the Commissioner for Special duties claimed the government has implemented the CONMESS agreement reached with the doctors.

He noted that “between 2008 and now, the salary of Lagos doctors has doubled.” “A house officer in LUTH gets the same amount a house officer gets in the LASUTH or any general hospital in the state”  he said.

He also revealed that a fresh consultant (doctor) at Level 15-Step One in the state, gets N450, 000. Four years ago it was half of that that they get.”

“The issues they (the doctors) are raising are what we can all sit down and talk about. There is nothing going on down now that we should pull down the heaven for.”

The government official appealed to the doctors saying “going on strikes involves a lot things with a number of lives lost and displaced.”

“This strike is illegal, unless if they are saying any little problem we have, they will pull down the heaven” he added.