Ebola: Lagos State Puts Residents On Alert | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Ebola: Lagos State Puts Residents On Alert

Posted: Jul 3, 2015 at 6:47 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Yinka Shokunbi, Lagos

NINE months after Nigeria was declared Ebola-free, the citizens have again been alerted of a possible return of the disease following the reported discovery of three new cases in Liberia last Sunday. So far, a teenager has been reported dead.

The Lagos State Ministry of Health on Thursday July 2, 2015 placed residents on alert, urging for caution and vigilance.

Permanent Secretary, Dr Modele Osunkiyesi,  in a press statement issued on Thursday, reaffirmed the need for residence to maintain adequate personal and environmental hygiene at all times, as part of precautionary measures to prevent the resurgence of the disease in the country.

It would be recalled that on July 20 2014, the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) was imported into the country by a Liberian diplomat, Patrick Sawyer, who flew into the country through the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos,s en-route Calabar for an international conference.

He reportedly took ill mid-air and collapsed upon arriving at Lagos Murtala Muhammed International Airport.

A protocol officer of ECOWAS, who was there to receive him, later drove in an ECOWAS pool car to First Consultant Hospital in Obalende, where Sawyer later died on July 24 after he had infected some medical staff of the hospital, four of whom later died, including foremost Consultant, Stella Adadevoh.

Osunkiyesi, in her statement, outlined some of the strategies already put in place by government to prevent the re-emergence of the disease in the state after the country had being certified free of Ebola on October 20, 2014 by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

According to the permanent secretary, the state government, in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Health and other stakeholders, were already maintaining relevant surveillance through Port Health Services and community surveillance activities in all local government areas.

She, however, admonished residents that the utmost prevention of Ebola remained a shared responsibility by everyone in the state.

Osunkiyesi assured that as of Thursday July 2, there had not been any reported suspicious case of the disease, either in the state or country, but urged every resident to be watchful and concerned about taking responsibility over their health.

She advised that residents should continue “to observe the highest possible standards of personal and environmental hygiene through regular washing of hands with soap and running water; avoiding close contact with people who are sick; ensuring that objects used by the sick are decontaminated and properly disposed and avoid touching or washing of dead bodies if not trained to do so.”