Ebola: Lagos Insists On September 22 Resumption Date For Schools

Lagos Schools resumptionThe Lagos State government in Nigeria’s south-south has supported the September 22 resumption date for all public and private nursery, primary and secondary schools in the state as announced by the Federal Government.

The Federal Government had said that the date was agreed on after a national consultation on efforts to contain the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Nigeria.

A statement by the Special Adviser to Governor Babatunde Fashola on Information and Strategy, Lateef Raji, said that although the resumption date was advisory, as education had remained a concurrent matter to be regulated by the respective Federal and States Authorities, Lagos State Government considered it eminently justifiable.

The State government said its decision was in view of the fact that there was currently no known carrier of EVD in the State at the moment.

“Furthermore, the last individual suspected to have been exposed to the virus will be discharged from observation on September 18, 2014, if he tests negative for the virus. All public and private educational institutions in the State are therefore directed to schedule their resumption accordingly.

“Considering the current situation report, it is clear that the risk of infection with EVD in Lagos State has been significantly reduced. Health professionals working on the outbreak are also in agreement that there is no reason why schools should remain closed beyond the 22nd of September, 2014.

“In spite of the foregoing, the State Government has now developed and will deploy all resources necessary to sustain the capacity to promptly take into custody any person suspected to be infected with EVD, as well as safely test, monitor and isolate such a person for treatment as may be found necessary without endangering other members of the public,” the statement read.

Remain Very Vigilant

The State government further acknowledged the need for all Nigerians to remain very vigilant, as the disease is still in other countries within West Africa.

Some steps that should be taken in some schools, whether public or private, before and after resumption, as stated by the State government include; training and sensitisation of students, vendors, teachers and non academic staff on EVD and how to avoid it; identification of EVD Focal Persons in schools who would be responsible for surveillance and health monitoring; provision of adequate environmental sanitation, including clean toilets and premises and provision of running water and soap and encouragement of frequent hand washing.

Other important steps listed were sensitisation of students on other personal hygiene habits, like the use of handkerchiefs when sneezing or coughing and arrangement for prompt referral of any sick person to the nearest health institution for treatment.

The State government further reiterated that the health of all residents was a matter of utmost importance, stressing that if any reasons emerge for a reconsideration of the school resumption date, a well-considered decision would be taken and the general public will be informed accordingly.

In the statement, health workers were commended for their efforts in ensuring the containment of EVD.

Health institutions, which might have suffered adverse economic consequences as a result of the epidemic that has claimed seven lives in Nigeria, were assured of the State government’s plan to assist them to mitigate their loses and safely reopen for business as soon as possible.

Ebola: Health Minister Says Disease Will Soon Be Stamped Out In Nigeria

EbolaThe Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, has said that he is confident that the Ebola Virus Disease in Nigeria will be taken care of.

Professor Chukwu, who led a delegation from the Ministry of Health to Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, on Friday to ascertain the level of work done by the Ebola response team in the state, said that doctors were assisting Ebola virus patients by replacing their lost fluid to get well .

“The electrolyte you have lost is replaced. We need to ensure that if you need blood, we give you blood transfusion. Ebola virus can be managed, it is not a death sentence,” Professor Chukwu said.’

Chukwu added, however, that the virus does not have a specific drug yet and that many diseases were like that.

“We have not been able to get a reliable vaccine. So, all the vaccines are going through clinical trials.

“Hopefully, we will get one soon. But, for now, we don’t have,  but we do manage,”  he said.

Received by members of the Ebola response team in the state led by the Commissioner of Health, Samson Parker, the Minister’s first assignment was to visit the treatment centre at Oduha, Emohua Local Government Area, before proceeding to the National Disease Control Centre in the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital in Choba to take a look at the mobile testing laboratory centre where blood samples could be tested for the virus.

He said what he saw was of world class standard.

The Minister confirmed that it was just one case of Ebola virus patient that was in the treatment centre in Rivers State, who is the sister of the late doctor.

He further stated that 18 cases of the disease were registered in the country so far, eight of which have been discharged

“The government is on top of the situation and we will do our best to make sure that we stamp out the disease,” he said.

“Ebola is not a death sentence and can be managed.” That is the message the Ministry of Health in Rivers State and the Federal Government hope will get to Nigerians, as the fight against the virus intensifies.

Ebola: Fashola Says Patients Are Well Catered For

Babatunde-FasholaThe Lagos State government in south-west Nigeria says it is taking adequate care of all patients who have tested positive to the Ebola Virus Disease, dousing speculations that the patients were not well catered for.

Addressing reporters on Friday at the Lagos House, Ikeja, after families of those that had tested positive to the virus raised concerns that the patients were not well catered for, Fashola said that the state was gradually developing capacity to manage the emergency situation and called for caution in the media publication of commentaries on efforts to contain the virus.

Governor Fashola explained that it was a very challenging time for health authorities in managing the disease, as the state was just developing capacity for its management. He stressed that the Ebola Virus outbreak was not something that was planned for.

He commended the media for their efforts in helping the government to sensitise members of the public about the risks, the precautions and the necessary developments relating to the management of Ebola Virus outbreak in Nigeria.

Personnel Capacity Issue

Sympathising with the victims of the Ebola virus, the Governor said: “One can only understand the trauma, the concerns and anxiety that the family members are going through.

“The outbreak is not something that was expected, or planned for and getting people who are sufficiently knowledgeable and skilled – health workers – to go in to the Isolation Wards to work has been quite a challenge.

“It is a matter of very monumental courage for those who have signed up and we commend their courage. There is a personnel capacity issue of those who can go in and look after patients. First, Physicians who have to do clinical work there and then support staff like nurses who have to clean up patients, manage their body fluids in a way that they themselves do not become victims.

“Now the Personal Protective Equipment that they wear is very hot and they are literally sealed in, so that you are protected and therefore it is uncomfortable and ideally no doctor or medical personnel should stay in that place for any undue length of time,” he explained.

He further said that from what the experts told him there would be no opportunity to single out a particular person as a very important personality that would get special care, adding that whether it is from the lowest member of society to the most important person, they would all be treated in the same way.

Days after the first Ebola death occurred on July 25, the state government provided an isolation facility and to further contain the situation, President Goodluck Jonathan, last week, set up an intervention plan with 1.9 billion Naira approved to address the situation.

However, Governor Fashola said that the state had not received any money from the Federal Government, explaining that what the state has been doing is to work with its resources. He maintained that all the isolation units, the conversion and everything had been by personnel from Lagos who are working with officials of the Federal Health facility in the state.

Fashola, however, emphasised that what was really needed at this stage was not solely a question of funds.

“What we are facing now is one that concerns a personnel issue, a system issue, a control issue as well a knowledge issue. It is only when all of that have been put into place that one can begin to say how much it would cost.

“So it is not money issue and from what I get, it is not the type of money that we can’t afford but every help from the Federal Government would be useful. What to take away from this is not the money but the fact that even the President has shown sufficient concern to call all the 36 States, their Governors and commissioners for health to get a full briefing of the risks, the process and the prognosis for the future.

“I think that is more important. What we need more is the personnel, knowledgeable people who can join that team and contribute their quota,” he added.

Eight Persons Suspected To Have Contracted Ebola Virus Quarantined


A Lagos doctor who treated the Liberian man that died few days ago of Ebola Virus has tested positive to the Virus, Nigeria’s Minister of Health said on Monday.

The minister broke the news on Monday during the inauguration of a treatment research group for Ebola in Nigeria .

According to the Minister, 70 people are now placed under surveillance while eight people would be quarantined on Monday for developing symptoms of the disease.

Apart from taking those steps, the government has also set up a treatment research group, that will carry out treatment research, receive and verify treatment claims as well as advise government on issues relating to Ebola virus in Nigeria.

The group which is co-chaired by Professor Shingu Gamaliel and Professor Innocent Ujah also has Maurice Iwu, a Professor of Pharmacognosy and officials from the Centre for Disease Control as members.

The minister advised the public to be wary of treatment claims including the use of bitter-cola as most treatment findings are still in their laboratory stages.

There is currently no known cure for Ebola virus in the world, but medical experts say efforts are on to find a remedy to the disease that has claimed over seven hundred since its out-break this year.