Wife of Ebola Survivor Welcomes Baby girl

ebolaIt is another cheery news from First Consultants Medical Centre in Lagos, as the wife of a male Ebola survivor, Dr. Adewale Adejoro, has been delivered of a healthy Ebola-free baby girl.

According to the hospital’s Medical Director, Dr. Benjamin Ohiaeri, who made the birth announcement on Thursday, Mrs Opeyemi  Adejoro put to bed at 7.24 pm on Tuesday, December 1, 2015.

“The baby girl, weighing 3kg at birth (its placenta 450g), a product of a term gestation was delivered following strict guidelines and recommendations from the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), USA, through the pre-natal and delivery stages,” Dr. Ohiaeri said.

In November 2015, First Consultant Medical Centre celebrated Dr Ada Igonoh’s safe delivery of a baby girl in the United States.

First Consultant Medical Centre, Lagos, is the same hospital where the index case of Ebola in Nigeria, Patrick Sawyer, was treated.

WHO Declares Liberia Ebola-free

LiberiaThe World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared Liberia free of the dreaded Ebola Virus Disease after no new cases were reported for over a month.

On Saturday the World Health Organization said in a statement: “The outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Liberia is over.”

The last confirmed death in Liberia was on March 27 and no  new cases were reported in 42 days – twice the maximum incubation period for the deadly disease.

Liberia recorded more than 4,700 deaths from Ebola, a figure higher than what has been recorded in any other affected country.

Find the full statement by the World Health Organization below:


The Ebola Outbreak In Liberia Is Over

WHO statement

9 May 2015

Today, 9 May 2015, WHO declares Liberia free of Ebola virus transmission. Forty-two days have passed since the last laboratory-confirmed case was buried on 28 March 2015. The outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Liberia is over.

Interruption of transmission is a monumental achievement for a country that reported the highest number of deaths in the largest, longest, and most complex outbreak since Ebola first emerged in 1976. At the peak of transmission, which occurred during August and September 2014, the country was reporting from 300 to 400 new cases every week.

During those 2 months, the capital city Monrovia was the setting for some of the most tragic scenes from West Africa’s outbreak: gates locked at overflowing treatment centres, patients dying on the hospital grounds, and bodies that were sometimes not collected for days.

Flights were cancelled. Fuel and food ran low. Schools, businesses, borders, markets, and most health facilities were closed. Fear and uncertainty about the future, for families, communities, and the country and its economy, dominated the national mood.

Though the capital city was hardest hit, every one of Liberia’s 15 counties eventually reported cases. At one point, virtually no treatment beds for Ebola patients were available anywhere in the country. With infectious cases and corpses remaining in homes and communities, almost guaranteeing further infections, some expressed concern that the virus might become endemic in Liberia, adding another – and especially severe – permanent threat to health.

It is a tribute to the government and people of Liberia that determination to defeat Ebola never wavered, courage never faltered. Doctors and nurses continued to treat patients, even when supplies of personal protective equipment and training in its safe use were inadequate. Altogether, 375 health workers were infected and 189 lost their lives.

Local volunteers, who worked in treatment centres, on burial teams, or as ambulance drivers, were driven by a sense of community responsibility and patriotic duty to end Ebola and bring hope back to the country’s people. As the number of cases grew exponentially, international assistance began to pour in. All these efforts helped push the number of cases down to zero.

Liberia’s last case was a woman in the greater Monrovia area who developed symptoms on 20 March and died on 27 March. The source of her infection remains under investigation. The 332 people who may have been exposed to the patient were identified and closely monitored. No one developed symptoms; all have been released from surveillance.

Health officials have maintained a high level of vigilance for new cases. During April, the country’s 5 dedicated Ebola laboratories tested around 300 samples every week. All test results were negative.

While WHO is confident that Liberia has interrupted transmission, outbreaks persist in neighbouring Guinea and Sierra Leone, creating a high risk that infected people may cross into Liberia over the region’s exceptionally porous borders.

The government is fully aware of the need to remain on high alert and has the experience, capacity, and support from international partners to do so. WHO will maintain an enhanced staff presence in Liberia until the end of the year as the response transitions from outbreak control, to vigilance for imported cases, to the recovery of essential health services.

Evolution Of The Outbreak

The start of the outbreak was deceptively slow. Health officials were on high alert for cases following WHO’s confirmation, on 23 March 2014, of the Ebola outbreak in Guinea. Liberia’s first 2 cases, in the northern county of Lofa near the border with Guinea, were confirmed on 30 March 2014.

On 7 April, 5 more cases were confirmed, 4 in Lofa and 1 in Monrovia. All 5 died. The situation then stabilized, with no new cases reported during April and most of May.

Further cases were detected in early June, mainly in Lofa county, but the trend did not look alarming, especially when compared with the situation elsewhere. At the end of June, Liberia reported 41 cases, compared with 390 in Guinea and 158 in Sierra Leone.

The impression of a calm situation turned out to be an illusion. The first additional cases in Monrovia were reported in mid-June. The city was ill-prepared to cope with the onslaught of infections that rapidly followed as the virus raced through hospitals, communities, and eventually entire neighbourhoods.

Case numbers that had multiplied quickly began to grow exponentially. On 6 August, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf declared a three-month state of emergency and announced several strict measures aimed at getting cases down.

In mid-August, a WHO team of emergency experts estimated that Monrovia needed 1000 beds just to treat currently infected patients. Only 240 beds were available.

In September, WHO began construction of a new treatment centre, using teams of 100 construction workers labouring in round-the-clock shifts. On 21 September, the Island Clinic was formally handed over by WHO to Liberia’s Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. The clinic added 150 beds to Monrovia’s limited treatment capacity. However, within 24 hours after opening, the clinic was overflowing with patients, demonstrating the desperate need for more treatment beds.

WHO supported the construction of 2 additional Ebola treatment centres, augmenting Monrovia’s treatment capacity by another 400 beds. The remaining need was eventually met by multiple partners. The rapid increase in treatment capacity, especially in Monrovia, likely did much to turn the outbreak around.

The outbreak began to subside in late October, when more new cases were detected early and rapidly treated in isolation, and more safe and dignified burials were performed. Case-fatality rates dropped. As the number of survivors grew, public perceptions changed from viewing treatments centres as “death traps” to seeing them as places of hope. That altered perception, in turn, encouraged more patients to seek early treatment.

The incidence of new cases stabilized in mid-November, with daily reports showing only 10 to 20 new cases. During the early months of 2015, cases dwindled further, eventually allowing detection and investigation of the last remaining chains of transmission. From late March on, daily reports consistently showed zero cases.

Factors that contributed to success: big dreams

A number of factors contributed to the success of Liberia’s Ebola response..

The first decisive factor was the leadership shown by President Sirleaf, who regarded the disease as a threat to the nation’s “economic and social fabric” and made the response a priority for multiple branches of government. Her swift and sometimes tough decisions, frequent public communications, and presence at outbreak sites were expressions of this leadership.

As President Sirleaf famously stated in her memoir, “The size of your dreams must always exceed your current capacity to achieve them. If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.”

Second, health officials and their partners were quick to recognize the importance of community engagement. Health teams understood that community leadership brings with it well-defined social structures, with clear lines of credible authority. Teams worked hard to win support from village chiefs, religious leaders, women’s associations, and youth groups.

One of the first signs that the outbreak might be turned around appeared in September 2014, when cases in Lofa county, Ebola’s initial epicentre, began to decline after a peak of more than 150 cases a week in mid-August. Epidemiologists would later link that decline to a package of interventions, with community engagement playing a critical role.

In Lofa, staff from the WHO country office moved from village to village, challenging chiefs and religious leaders to take charge of the response. Community task forces were formed to create house-to-house awareness, report suspected cases, call health teams for support, and conduct contact tracing.

See-through walls around the treatment centre replaced opaque ones, allowing families and friends to watch what was happening inside, thus dispelling many rumours. Calls for transportation to treatment facilities or for burial teams were answered quickly, building confidence that teams were there to help.

The effectiveness of this response, which was duplicated elsewhere, points to a third factor: generous support from the international community, including financial, logistical, and human resources. This support added more treatment beds, increased laboratory capacity, and augmented the number of contact tracing and burial teams. The deployment of self-sufficient foreign medical teams from several countries had a dramatic impact on the outbreak’s evolution.

Finally, strong coordination of the international and national response was essential for success. International support was slow to start, but abundant when it arrived. Innovations such as the Presidential Advisory Committee on Ebola and introduction of a incident management system helped ensure that resources and capacities were placed where needed.

Many of these lessons and experiences are reflected in WHO’s new response plan, which aims to identify all remaining cases in West Africa by June 2015.

Large Scale Trials Of Ebola Experimental Vaccine In Liberia

EBOLAThe first large-scale trials of an experimental vaccine against Ebola are due to begin in Liberia.

The potentially preventative medicine was taken under strict security to a secret location in the West African country.

Scientists aim to immunise 30,000 volunteers, including front-line health workers.

More than 8,500 people have died in the Ebola outbreak, most of whom are from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The total number of reported cases is more than 21,000. In Liberia alone, more than 3,600 people have died from the disease.

The trial beginning on Monday would involve injecting a small amount of the Ebola virus into volunteers in order to trick the body into producing an immune response.

The vaccine is still experimental and it is not clear whether it will definitely provide protection against Ebola.

Community nurses are being trained in how to monitor volunteers in the months after they have had their injections.

The number of Ebola cases in Liberia have been steadily decreasing. In recent months, there have only been five confirmed cases across the country.

Ebola: Reps Call For Compensation For Medical Victims

Human TraffickingThe House of Representatives in Nigeria has urged the Federal and State governments concerned to compensate the families of Dr. Stella Adadevoh and other health workers who died of the Ebola Virus Disease.

In plenary on Tuesday, a lawmaker, Olajumoke Okoya-Thomas, said that the gallant and patriotic role played by late Dr. Adadevoh and her team in curbing the spread of the disease in Nigeria deserved to be rewarded.

The house also observed a moment of silence in their honour and urged that the Nigerian government immortalises the late doctor by naming a medical institution in her honour.

Lawmakers also commended the Federal and State governments for the effective action taken to halt the spread of the disease.

Late Dr. Adadevoh played a major role in ensuring that the index patient,  a Liberian-American man, Patrick Sawyer, did not leave the hospital after he tested positive for Ebola virus.

The Nigerian president had dedicated Nigeria’s Ebola-free declaration by the World Health Organization on October 20 to health workers and to Nigerians.

Ebola Success: Doctor Advocates Social Marketing For Health Sector

Dr Noimoh BalogunFollowing the World Health Organisation’s official declaration that Nigeria is Ebola free, a public health personnel, Dr Noimoh Balogun, has called on the government and citizens to increase social marketing for the healthcare system, which would help keep the nation on its feet.

“For the first time in many years, I was really happy to be a Nigerian,” she said about the announcement , adding that “I’m happy that for once, we decided to solve our problem.”

Appearing as a guest on Sunrise Daily, Balogun noted that for the Ebola problem, Nigerians “came together to solve it and it worked”.

“The only thing it has given to me is hope. Hope and more hope that (definitely), since we can win this Ebola war, then we can win a lot of public health issues”, including high rate of maternal and child mortality, domestic violence, slum maintenance etc.

“If that political will is there, if that commitment is there and if people are ready to come together to work collaboratively, then indeed we can.”

She also highlighted that the Ebola success story was as a result of social capital.

“I actually saw a muli-sectorial approach towards combating a problem” as virologists, social workers, health educators, public health physicians, clinical physicians worked together to combat the disease and “we saw people bring out their skills and it worked,” she added.

She noted the fact that Nigeria could not have the ZMAPP drug it requested from the United States, prompted health workers to swing into action.

“We were able to show the world that indeed Nigeria, with it’s local skills and human resources, can actually achieve a great deal.”

She noted that the declaration of Nigeria as Ebola-free was a rare success story for the nation.

“For once, people could identify Nigeria with success. For once, we could say Nigeria has a robust health system compared to other countries in Africa.”

She advocated for the will for government and citizens to make decisions irrespective of associations and affiliations.

She further advocated social marketing for the healthcare system, noting that “one thing that has been lacking is the fact that health is not marketed in a social way.

“Health is not marketed in a way that if I’m healthy, then I’ll be productive. If I’m productive, then I’ll contribute to the national growth. If I contribute to national growth, then Nigeria would have a GDP that would eventually help me in my own per capita income. That way you are able to translate health to wealth.”

She opined that citizens would be more interested in community development “when you start to monitise the quality of life you are living”.

NLC Commends FG for Victory Over Ebola

nlcThe Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has expressed delight with the cheering news of Nigeria being declared free of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

In a statement issued in Kaduna on Monday, Vice President of the Union, Issa Aremu, said that Nigeria’s victory against Ebola is a sign of good governance which must be sustained, and also urged the Federal, state and local governments to use the same zeal in the fight against malaria and other killer diseases that are ravaging the country.

The NLC Vice President commended the efforts and measures taken by the Federal Government and state governments, particularly the Lagos State Government and all stakeholders to curb the spread of the disease in Nigeria.

Part of the text reads; “It is a mark of good governance that Nigeria applied a bi-partisan national approach to curb and curtail an epidemic of a disease without a cure and record a globally acclaimed achievement. We must apply same approach to eradicate polio, malaria and cholera.”

As the country celebrate the feat, Aremu cautioned of any form of complacency by both the government and the citizens, tasking relevant government agencies to remain on duty to guard against any new infection in Nigeria.

This, he said, would be sustained if government would strengthen the public healthcare system, motivate health workers and continue compulsory screening on the nation’s boarders, airports, seaports and ensure the use of hand sanitizers at all times.

The NLC Vice President expressed further that Nigeria’s victory cannot be sustained if the Ebola disease continues to ravage other West African countries like Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

He, therefore, urged the Nigerian Government to give necessary support to the neighbouring West African countries being ravaged by the Ebola disease.

Jonathan Dedicates WHO ‘Ebola-free’ Declaration To Health Workers

JONATHANPresident Goodluck Jonathan has dedicated the declaration by the World Health Organization (WHO) that Nigeria is now officially Ebola-free to the many patriotic health workers, volunteers and ordinary Nigerians who worked tirelessly to contain the Ebola Virus Disease.

The WHO Ebola-free certification came on Monday, 42 days after the last case of the Ebola Virus Disease was reported.

Nigeria recorded six more deaths after the index Ebola patient, a Liberian-American man, Patrick Sawyer died on July 25.

Most of the dead were health workers, who President Jonathan said paid “the ultimate price, to stop the deadly virus in its track”.

A statement by the spokesman for the President, Dr Ruben Abati, said President Jonathan also reiterated his appreciation of the contributions of state governments, WHO and other international health organisations, relatives of infected persons and other Nigerians, who either courageously underwent the rigours of being quarantined or complied with all directives issued by health authorities to defeat the virus.

“Nigeria’s globally-acclaimed success against Ebola is a testimony to what Nigerians can achieve if they set aside their differences and work together,” President Jonathan said.

He called on Nigerians to strive to replicate the unity of purpose and the “all-hands-on-deck approach” adopted against Ebola in other areas of national life.

Continue active screening

Several nations had applauded Nigeria’s success in containing the virus disease that had killed over 4,400 persons since outbreak started in March, but President Jonathan, however, warned that the entire country must remain fully alert and vigilant against the re-entry of the virus.

In its declaration statement, the WHO had warned that while “we have won a battle against Ebola, the war will only truly end when West Africa, Africa and the world are declared free of Ebola,”a view that president Jonathan also emphasised.

The President consequently directed that all the anti-Ebola measures taken after the entry of the virus into Nigeria should remain in place and that health officials should continue to actively screen persons entering the country through its air, land and sea borders for any sign of the virus.

He also urged all Nigerians to continue to follow the anti-Ebola  advisories on sanitation and personal hygiene issued by Federal and State Health authorities.

WHO Declares Nigeria Ebola Free

Ebola Virus Disease.The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Monday declared Nigeria free of the deadly Ebola Virus. Nigeria has not recorded a new case of Ebola for 42 days or two incubation period of 21 days.

WHO representative, Rui Gama Vaz, who said it was a “spectacular success story”, added that “Nigeria is now free of Ebola.

“This is a spectacular success story. It shows that Ebola can be contained but we must be clear that we have only won a battle, the war will only end when West Africa is also declared free of Ebola”, he said.

The disease gained entry into the country in July when Liberian, Patrick Sawyer, came in on diplomatic assignment.

The diplomat had fallen ill and was admitted at the First Consultants Hospital, Obalende, in Lagos.

Nigeria had 20 cases in total, of which eight died.

The outbreak has killed more than 4,500 people in West Africa, mostly in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone.

An estimated 70% of those infected have died in those countries.

The WHO officially declared Senegal Ebola-free on Friday. Below is the full statement by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Official Statement By WHO country representative, Rui Gama Vaz

‎Today 20th October, 42 days(twice the incubation period) after the last confirmed case of Ebola Virus Disease was discharged from the isolation ward having tested negative for Ebola virus, the chains of transmission have been broken.

WHO officially declares that Nigeria is now free of Ebola virus transmission. The virus is gone for now. The outbreak in Nigeria has been contained. But we must be clear that we only won a battle. The war will only end when West Africa is also declared free of Ebola.

While the outbreak is now officially over, Nigeria’s geographical position and extensive borders makes the country vulnerable to additional imported cases of Ebola Virus Disease. It is therefore critical to continue vigilance for any suspected cases by strict compliance with WHO EVD preparedness guidelines. Therefore there is need to continue to work together with states to ensure adequate preparedness to rapidly respond, in case of any potential re-importation.

Senate Passes Public Health Bill

Senator David Mark, Senate President.The Senate in Nigeria has passed a bill to establish a public health system to guarantee quarantine, isolation and emergency health procedures.

The decision of Senate to pass the bill into law on Tuesday maybe connected with the onslaught of the Ebola Virus Disease in some West African countries, but experts say it has been brought under control in Nigeria.

It is a bill that seeks the development of a comprehensive plan to provide for a co-ordinated and appropriate response in the event of public health emergency.

It will also enhance the early detection of a health emergency and allow the immediate investigation of such emergency by gaining access to individual’s health information under specified circumstances.

The act also seeks to grant federal and state officials the authority to use an appropriate property as necessary for the case, treatment, vaccination and housing of patients and to destroy contaminated facilities or materials.

Speaking at the Tuesday plenary, the deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, said that it was necessary to enact laws to deal challenges thrown up by the Ebola Virus Disease that claimed seven lives in Nigeria between July and August.

Schools Resumption: Teachers, Parents Want To Be Sure Of Ebola Protection Measures

Modupe Adefeso-OlatejuThe refusal of teachers in Nigeria to resume on September 22 and the scepticism that some parents have shown are all as a result of the fear that some cases of the Ebola Virus Disease may still exist, an educationist, Dr. Modupe Adefeso-Olateju, has said.

Dr. Adefeso-Olateju said on Friday that the reality was that “the county is still grappling with the Ebola virus issue”.

“We know that we do not have any official cases of Ebola Virus, but on the other hand, who is to know if there are unreported cases still existing . We can’t say categorically. I understand the perspective of those who are very concerned about the resumption date of September 22.

“My concern is that which I have observed over time in the education sector in Nigeria and that is the fact that we do not seem to take education quite seriously as we should in Nigeria.

“If one is to ask what the risk assessment strategy for the Ebola virus disease is in Nigeria, its implication on education and if anything was done before we had the Patrick Sawyer incident? I doubt that we would have any such strategy in place, knowing full well the sort of implication that this will have on our education system,” she said on Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise Daily.

Dr. Adefeso-Olateju pointed out that some parents worry over the lack of basic facilities needed in school to guide against Ebola spread, have been linked to the fact that there is no clear assurance that there are no Ebola cases.

“They are valid concerns because there are implications that will be quite severe for the children.

“The big issue for me is how a situation like this can exacerbate the difference between public and private schools in Nigeria. We advise both private and public sectors.

“While some parents in the private sector are still reluctant to allow their children to go to school on September 22, we have observed how proactive private schools have been to enable them know if children have fever. They have provided facilities to have them wash their hands and use sanitisers. And in some public secondary schools we have seen such measures put in place,” Dr Modupe Adefeso-Olateju, who is the Managing Director, Education Partnership Centre, said.

On the implication of shifting the resumption date, she said that it would be a very serious situation to have a child out of school for two weeks in a term, insisting that being out of school would have severe implications on their learning outcome at the end of the day.

She highlighted the fact that “health comes first before education” and stressed that the parents must be assured of their children’s health safety and security.

The Minister of Health Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, had on Wednesday said that there was no single case of Ebola Virus Disease in Nigeria , explaining tha the risk rate had been reduced. But Dr Modupe Adefeso-Olateju has a different view.

“I don’t think I will say that the risk is small unless we have taken the temperature of majority of Nigerians.

“Vast majority of private schools will open on Monday but we do not know if that will be same in the public sector,” she said.

The educationist further suggested that autonomy of schools in Nigeria should be promoted to empower some schools to be able to get necessary facilities without having to go through a bureaucratic process.

“How much autonomy are we actually promoting? Are we ready to embark on the level of decentralisation so that the provision of needed facilities could be made more rapidly at schools level?” she questioned.

As much as checks are needed to be carried out on school children, there have been fears that ample manpower and time may be lost to the process, a position Dr Modupe Adefeso-Olateju also stressed.

“However, we cannot continue to shut down schools, but there must be a measure of protection for the children, even if all we do is providing thermometers and train people on how to use it, I think that will really help,” she said, stressing the need for the check to be sustained.

On the standard of education in Nigeria, the educationist emphasised the need for a level of continuity in policy formulation and implementation, a necessary sustainability process she said was lacking in the education sector.

Schools’ Resumption Date Not Changing, FG, NMA Agree

Schools' resumptionNigeria’s Minister of Education, Ibrahim Shekarau, says the Federal Government was not influenced by private school owners to adopt the September 22 date for secondary and primary schools’ resumption.

The Minister was speaking during a meeting with the House Committee on Education and members of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) on the effect of the Ebola Virus Disease and the new resumption date for schools.

The House of Representatives Committee called the meeting due to concerns raised by some parents and groups who have questioned the decision of the Federal Government to have schools resume on September 22.

The Minister of Education explained why the date was selected and also wondered why some associations such as the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) disagreed with the date selected.

“It was a unanimous decision taken after a meeting with all state education commissioners and the health ministry. The ministry also wrote all state governors to give the directive more weight.

“At no point did anybody influence this decision. There were reports that the private sector influenced the decision. That is not true.”

The President of the Nigeria Medical Association, Dr. Kayode Obembe, however, spoke for the doctors.

The leadership of the medical association, which had earlier suggested that schools remained closed until all suspected Ebola cases are cleared, told the committee that the association now had nothing against the new schools’ resumption date announced by the Federal Government.

They, however, emphasized the need to focus on maintaining “highest level of vigilance” in the several entry points, resuscitating the infectious disease hospitals in states and ensuring comprehensive screening of travellers, among others as conditions that must be met by the Federal Government.

The NMA President also said; “All recent travellers to all the provinces of the current endemic countries of the Ebola disease, namely Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Sudan and Gabon, must be carefully scrutinized for the presence of the virus and epidemiologically treated accordingly.”

The Minister then gave assurances that the Federal Government would continue to monitor the situation closely and would not hesitate to take every necessary step to protect the Nigerian child.



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.