Posted by: James Azania
The Ekiti and Kogi State governments have set up committees to prevent the deadly Ebola virus from getting to the states.
Ekiti State has a 30-man multi-ministerial committee and Kogi an emergency committee to prevent and offer prompt diagnosis and treatment, in case of any identified case of the virus.
Ebola has killed scores of people in some West African countries. Other nations are taking preventive measures to stave off the spread of the virus.
Health Commissioner, Prof Olusola Fasubaa, spoke in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, on the essence of the committee.
He said the government’s proactive stance was to prevent and control the transmission of the disease to the state because of the frightening 90 per cent mortality rate of the virus.
The commissioner said the committee comprises of members from various relevant sectors, including Health, Information, Police and other security agencies, road transport workers and women’s groups, who would track and refer suspected cases for proper treatment.
The members would also ensure the prevention of further spread of the virus from suspected cases of infection, he said.
Prof Fasubaa explained that selected hospital wards in three general hospitals in the three senatorial districts at Ode, Ifaki and Okemesi had been identified and management centres set up to handle likely cases of infection.
The commissioner said an ambulance support would be provided for suspected infected persons from their locations, adding that the premises would be properly decontaminated and surveillance measures intensified through community-membership approach.
He also said it had become mandatory for the residents to obtain death certificates from government health facilities on all deaths and bodies awaiting burial.
According to him, security agencies have been authorised to ensure proper screening of bodies entering or leaving the state.
Fasubaa stressed that bodies would also be screened before they are admitted into mortuaries.
The commissioner assured that the government would continue to strengthen infection, prevention and control mechanisms in all health facilities, adding that safe and adequate disposal methods for wastes and infected bodies would be adopted.
He urged the residents to be vigilant and report suspected cases of the virus to relevant authorities. Fasubaa listed the usual signs to watch out for as vomiting with or without diarrhoea and bleeding with or without dehydration.
The commissioner stressed that it is dangerous to harbour people with symptoms of the disease, particularly those who recently travelled to Ebola-prone areas.
He also noted that large gatherings promote the spread of the virus.
Fasubaa advised the residents to be wary of such gatherings to curtail the disease.
The commissioner urged the people to call 07039707775 (Commissioner for Health); 08033881226 (Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health); 08076481333 (Permanent Secretary, Hospitals Management Board); 08038171592 (Permanent Secretary, Public Health Care Development Agency) and 08033880425 (Director, Disease Control) in case of emergency and issues on the virus.
He hailed Governor Kayode Fayemi for demonstrating a strong political will and doggedness to prevent the Ebola virus from getting to the state.
Fasubaa said the Fayemi administration would ensure early detection, prompt notification and surveillance, besides adopting infection prevention control mechanism in all parts of the state.
In Kogi State, Governor Idris Wada urged the residents to watch out for the likely signs of the Ebola virus.
The governor also advised the people to maintain a high hygienic standard to prevent the deadly virus from the state.
Wada spoke at a capacity building workshop for midwives and community health extension workers in all the local governments.
The governor, who was represented by his deputy Yomi Awoniyi, said public health experts had stipulated some safety measures to contain the disease.
He urged the people to always wash their hands and abstain from eating bush meat, which is said to be among the carriers of the dreaded virus.
Wada, who said Kogi is the gateway to the North and South, advised the residents to adhere strictly to prevention stipulated by the Emergency Rapid Response Committee to address various issues on the Ebola virus infection.
The governor promised that his administration would protect the residents from diseases. He urged the people to cooperate with the committee for the prevention, detection and treatment of any suspected case.
Health Commissioner Dr Idris Omede said the government constituted the emergency committee to ensure that the state is not affected by the disease.
The commissioner urged the residents to be hygienic and ensure that the meat they eat is clean and cooked very well.
He advised the people to report suspected cases to health workers.