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.

 


 

Full Text: Press Statement On Resumption Of All Schools In Lagos State

1. Concerning the resumption of all public and private nursery, primary and secondary schools for the 2014/2015 session, Lagos State Government supports the September 22, 2014 date, which was announced by the Federal Government after a national consultation on efforts to contain the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Nigeria.

2. Although this resumption date is advisory, as education is a concurrent matter to be regulated by the respective Federal and States Authorities, Lagos State Government considers it eminently justifiable, in view of the fact that there is currently no known carrier of EVD in our 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. We also acknowledge the need for everyone to remain very vigilant, as the disease still remains in other countries within the sub-region. The following steps will therefore be taken in all schools, whether public or private, before and after resumption of schools:

(a) Training and sensitization of students, vendors, teachers and non academic staff on EVD and how to avoid it;

(b) Identification of EVD Focal Persons in schools who would be responsible for surveillance and health monitoring;

(c) Provision of adequate environmental sanitation, including clean toilets and premises;

(d) Provision of running water and soap and encouragement of frequent hand washing;

(e) Sensitisation of students on other personal hygiene habits, like the use of handkerchiefs when sneezing or coughing; and

(f) Arrangement for prompt referral of any sick person to the nearest health institution for treatment.

7. In spite of the foregoing, the State Government reiterates that the health of all its residents is a matter of utmost importance and, if any reasons emerge for a reconsideration of the school resumption date, a well-considered decision will be taken and the general public will be informed accordingly.

  1. The State Government salutes the health personnel and health institutions that have done their best to ensure the containment of EVD. Government officials will meet presently with those health institutions, which might have suffered adverse economic consequences as a result, and will find ways of assisting them to mitigate their loses and safely reopen for business as soon as possible.

    Signed:

    Lateef Raji

    Special Adviser On Information And Strategy

    September 12, 2014

No Ebola in Akwa Ibom State – Health Commissioner

EbolaThe Akwa Ibom State Government says there is no known case of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the state.

The State Commissioner for Health, Dr Ememabasi Bassey, said this in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.

The Commissioner was responding to rumours of the existence of an Ebola case in the state.

He said that although no case of the disease had been recorded in the state, the government has put necessary measures in place to ensure proper management should any case occur.

These include the acquisition of a dedicated and well equipped ambulance for emergencies, provision of Hilux trucks for surveillance, and regular tests using infra red thermometers to detect early symptoms of the disease.

Dr. Bassey stressed the need for the public to be alert to the early symptoms of the disease as this aids prompt management.

He noted that as long as there are Ebola cases in neighbouring West African countries, Nigeria would still be at risk. Hence the need for serious efforts against the disease.

The State Government has also carried out intensive public enlightenment campaign against the disease.

OAU Ebola Scare: Female Student Tests Negative To EVD

OAU EbolaVice Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Prof. Bamitale Omole, has cleared the air surrounding the status of the female student of the institution who was suspected to have been a secondary contact ‎with Ebola Virus Disease.

He confirmed that she has tested negative to the deadly virus.

Speaking to newsmen in Ile-Ife in Osun state, Prof. Bamitale Omole made it clear that the lady who was sent to the Ebola Isolation Centre in Lagos for further clinical and laboratory investigation, has been certified and proved negative of the dreaded EVD .

Prof. Omole gave assurance that the institution would in no way stigmatize the student who is still out of town, more so when she has been clinically confirmed ‎free of the Ebola Virus.

On measures put in place to curtail the EVD, Prof. Omole said that foreign students have been asked not to resume yet, particularly the ones from Liberia, until the coast is clear.

He urged the people to go about their normal activities, assuring that the OAU Ebola Surveillance Committee would continue to maintain all precautionary measures to ensure that OAU remains Ebola Free.

Ebola: Group Educates Mothers Ahead Of Resumption Of Schools

EbolaAhead of the September 22 date approved for the resumption of schools across the country, the non-governmental organisation of Nigeria’s first lady, Patience Jonathan, has launched a campaign to sensitise mothers on the Ebola virus disease.

The Women for Change Initiative is a non-governmental organisation of Nigeria’s first lady, Patience Jonathan, which mobilizes women for socio-economic and political change in Nigeria.

According to the group, targeting the women is one sure way of helping school children, who will soon return to their classes, to prevent the spread of the disease.

The group says zonal and states coordinators of the organisation would train parents at the grassroots on personal hygiene before children return to schools. They would also be trained on how to identify symptoms of the deadly virus.

At the launch, some of the training provided by team of medical experts from the State House included how to identify the disease, good personal hygiene and the need to avoid contact with body fluids.

Some of the participants told Channels Television that the training received would enable them educate their children on how to relate with other children and adults when they get back to their schools.

Nigeria’s school children ought to have resumed from their holidays in the first week of September, but as part of its efforts to contain the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, the Federal Government postponed the resumption of schools to September 22.

The Government expects that the Ebola virus would be completely contained before the new date of resumption.

Ebola: US Asks Nigeria To Assist Other West African Countries

EbolaUnited States’ Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, has appealed to the Nigerian Government to assist other West African countries grappling with the containment of the dreaded Ebola Virus Disease in their country.

According to her, the Nigerian Government has better effective strategies for the containment and management of the virus than other West African countries like Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

She made her plea after meeting with Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, in Abuja on Thursday.

Thomas-Greenfield was on an official visit to Nigeria to attend a security meeting, as well as discuss issues on health and the 2015 general elections in Nigeria.

Port Harcourt Woman Died Of Cardiac Ailment Not Ebola – Commissioner

EbolaThe Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Samson Parker, has revealed that the elderly woman who passed on in the state, died of a cardiovascular ailment and not the Ebola virus as earlier suspected.

Dr. Parker made this disclosure on Thursday morning at a breifing with newsmen in Port Harcourt, the state capital.

The woman was said to have shared the same hospital room with the late Dr. Iyke Enemuo, who treated the Nigerian ECOWAS diplomat in Port Harcourt, prior to his (Enemuo) death from EVD.

The late woman was quarantined with a doctor and a pharmacist, who were staff of late Enemuo’s health facility, Sam Steel Clinic.

However, following several tests, it was discovered that they were free from Ebola and were given a clean bill of health, although they were still under medical surveillance.

Thursday’s disclosure by the Health Commissioner puts to rest what was feared to be the seventh Ebola fatality to be recorded in the country.

Suspected Kaduna Ebola Patient Tests Negative

EbolaThe 19-year old Law student of the Ahmadu Bello University [ABU] suspected to manifest some symptoms of the Ebola Virus Disease [EVD] on Tuesday, has been confirmed to be negative to the virus.

This was after his blood was taken for test in Lagos on Tuesday, and the result rests the fear that the virus had spread to the state.

The State Commissioner for Health, Dr Thot Dogo, told Channels Television correspondent on telephone that the patient was suffering from Dengue fever, a viral disease that exhibits similar symptoms with Ebola and HIV.

He pointed out that the disease is not airborne but can be classified as a killer disease, and stated that the patient would be discharged as soon as he is certified fit by the hospital.

The Kaduna State Government had sent the patient’s blood to Lagos for testing after the University authorities disclosed that he manifested some symptoms of Ebola virus while on admission at the Teaching Hospital.

Ebola: Health Workers Seek Better Welfare

Ebola
ebola-health-workers

Health workers in Nigeria are seeking protection and better incentives for their colleagues giving treatment for patients with Ebola Virus Disease.

According to the President of the Health Workers Union, Mr Ayuba Wabba, healthcare providers have been worse affected by the outbreak of the disease in West Africa.

The union called for the recruitment of more health workers and better legislature that would guarantee the welfare of the care givers in the front-line of fighting the Ebola scourge.

Mr Wabba was speaking at a forum organised by the National Union of Medical and Health Worker in Nigeria to provide training on how to manage Ebola cases without being infected with the virus.

Apart from the workshop, health workers also believe there is a need for insurance and better legislature.

The National Council on Health had, on Monday, passed a resolution to press for life insurance coverage for health workers handling Ebola cases across the country.

While all health workers are at the risk of contracting the virus, experts believe that those working in laboratories, nurses, laundry and clinical services are at greater risk.

The National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives have also threatened industrial action because of discrimination and poor welfare.

Statistics reveals that since the recent outbreak, over 240 health workers have contracted the virus in West Africa. In Nigeria, out of the six deaths recorded, three were health care workers.

WFP Says It Needs $70m To Feed 1.3m People In Ebola Quarantine

EbolaThe World Food Programme says that it needs to raise $70 million to feed 1.3 million people at risk from shortages in Ebola-quarantined areas in West Africa.

WFP’s West Africa Director, Denise Brown, said that the organisation was currently providing food for around 150,000 people in Ebola-striken nations but needs to rapidly scale that up as the worst ever epidemic of the virus advanced.

Mrs Brown added that the WFP would look from donations from major donors like the United States, the European Union, the World Bank and Japan, as well as from non-traditional benefactors such as Arab states.

She, however, warned that the agency’s resources were already thinly stretched by major humanitarian crises in Syria, Iraq, South Sudan and Central African Republic.

Ebola Drug ZMapp Is 100% Effective

ZMappHopes of a breakthrough in the fight against Ebola have been raised by the 100% successful treatment of monkeys with the deadly disease.

The experimental drug, ZMapp, cured the animals even when administered five days after infection, while they were displaying severe symptoms.

All 18 rhesus macaques made a complete recovery, in contrast to three other untreated monkeys that quickly fell seriously ill and died.

Two U.S. doctors given the drug after they were infected with Ebola while working in Liberia subsequently recovered. It is not known, however, whether they were saved by the drug or just lucky.

About 45% of those infected in the current outbreak have survived without treatment.

At least two other patients treated with ZMapp have died, possibly because help got to them too late.

The new research, published in a special report on Nature Journal’s website, provides hard evidence that the drug works and can be highly effective.

ZMapp is a blend of three laboratory-made antibodies designed to neutralise the virus.

WHO Says Ebola Outbreak Could Strike 20,000 People

EbolaThe World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Thursday that the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa could infect more than 20,000 people.

The United Nations health agency issued a strategic plan to combat the outbreak in four West African nations where it said the actual number of cases could already be two to four times higher than the reported 3,069. The death toll stands at 1,552.

“This road-map assumes that in many areas of intense transmission, the actual number of cases may be 2-4 fold higher than that currently reported. It acknowledges that the aggregate case load of Ebola Virus Disease could exceed 20,000 over the course of this emergency,” the WHO said.

The deadly outbreak that began in Guinea in March and has spread to neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone as well as to Nigeria, requires a massive and coordinated international response, the WHO said.

A separate outbreak of Ebola in Democratic Republic of Congo identified as a different strain, is not included in its toll.

“Response activities must be adapted in areas of very intense transmission and particular attention must be given to stopping transmission in capital cities and major ports, thereby facilitating the larger response and relief effort,” the WHO said.

The virus is still being spread in a “substantial number of localities”, aggravating fragile social and economic conditions and has already killed an unprecedented number of health workers, the agency said.

A wider U.N.-led plan being launched by the end of September is “expected to underpin support for the increasingly acute problems associated with food security, protection, water, sanitation and hygiene, primary and secondary health care and education, as well as the longer-term recovery effort that will be needed,” the WHO said.