Ebola: 139 Nigerians now under watch

Ebola: 139 Nigerians now under watch

Saturday, August 9, 2014 8:37 pm


MADUABUCHI NMERIBEH/Kano

One hundred and thirty nine Nigerians are now under watch for Ebola virus, Minister of state for health, Dr. Khaliru Al-Hassan made the disclosure in Kano today.

“As we are talking now, we have about 139 people under   24 hour strict watch for any tempting signs of this disease. Those who are confirmed are under strict control measures; and we have instituted a lot of measures to ensure that it does not get out of Lagos state. So, we want to appeal to people to be calm and not being apprehensive”, he said.

Al-Hassan also reiterated government ban on bringing corpses homes for burial, from Ebola hit nations and dismissed rumours about the efficacy of using salt as an Ebola antidote.

“Let me say it again, we have stated it before that Ebola has no known cure at present because the Americans—the drug they are using is a test-drug—it has not been proven to be effective—and it has always been on animals.

“It has never been tested on human beings, except the first two American victims who are now in their custody. So, there is no known cure; and taking salt will be dangerous to your health because it can raise your blood pressure. For those who already have hypertension, that will be  like adding petrol to fire. So, we want to caution people to stop taking anything that have not been certified medically. Presently, a very high-powered team has been constituted specifically to look into any possible drug that may have cure from this virus. Presently, they have already swung into action. The bitter kola is also a rumour, so, people should not go out of their way to injure their health.”

The Minister advised the authorities in  Kano, to keep away  visitors from Liberia, Sierra-Leone and Guinea to  check the spread of  Ebola virus.

Al-Hassan who was in Kano during the third meeting of Northern Traditional Leaders on Primary Health-Care said that transfer of dead bodies remain a threat in the spread of the deadly virus.

His words, “henceforth, dead bodies would not be allowed to be transferred from one part of the country to another. Wherever the dead died they should be buried there. We have suspended bringing corpses from outside the country, particularly these three countries—Liberia, Sierra-Leone and Guinea. 

According to him, the Ebola outbreak remain a sad situation for Nigeria and Africa, at large, noting that, “sadly, an American-Liberian brought it into our country. This is very sad, but it is too late now, it has happened, we just have to rise up to the occasion. I will like to assure the entire public that the Federal Government is up and doing. The situation is under control. 

We have instituted a lot of measures to ensure that it does not spread any further. We are working tirelessly with our partners—WHO, USAID and all other international organs. We are doing the best. With our international partners to contend the outbreak; and we want to dispel all the rumours that are going round that Ebola is seen in other parts of the country. So far, Ebola is only limited to Lagos and; already all the suspected cases and those who are about to be positive—and the confirmed cases are under strict control; they are under insulation with all the international standards being observed—and other contacts are being monitored.

“An Ebola patient is more dangerous to the health workers because they are the point people. When an Ebola patient is sick, they either stay at home or go to the hospital, so I want to appeal all our health workers that it is no more business as usual consulting in our clinics.  We shall institute a very high standard of practice. I appeal to all our institutions—the Teaching Hospitals, the Federal Medical Centres to institute immediately, as a matter of urgency infection control committees—for those who doesn’t have it, they must place an order immediately, to institute infection control emergency in their hospitals.”


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