The Guardian (Lagos)

26 August 2014

Nigeria: Ebola - Red Cross Tasks S'East States Over Isolation Camps, Others

Photo: Daily Vox
More than 2,000 people have been infected with Ebola so far and over a thousand people have already died.

Awka — THE Anambra State Chapter of the Nigerian Red Cross Society has restated its preparedness and response plan programme to combat the dreaded Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the state, while also urging South East Governors to work as a team to prevent the virus from creeping into the region, urging them to set up an isolation camps in their various states.

Speaking during a one-day capacity workshop held at its state headquarters Awka, Vice Chairman of Red Cross in the state, Prof Peter Emeka Katchy said the essence of the workshop is to strategize on how to respond to emergencies like EVD and to create awareness to prevent its spread.

"We have started to create the awareness and planning on how to respond rapidly in case such emergency is needed. I also want to state categorically that there is no Ebola outbreak in Anambra State for now.

There was anxiety over Ebola virus in Anambra state sequel to the repatriation of the corpse of an accident victim, a native of Nando in Anambra East LGA who died in Liberia and was brought back and deposited at a mortuary in Nkwelle Ezunanka.

He explained that the Governor ordered for the shut down of the health facility. "We also quarantined the workers who passed the test we conducted on them."

Prof Katchy advised people to stop interstate and inter-country transportation of corpses; be conscious of whatever they do at this time, ensure that they wash their hands regularly and keep a healthy environment.

State Chairman of Red Cross Society and the former Chief Judge of Anambra State, Justice Paul Obidigwe said his chapter has procured preventive materials such as hand gloves, helmets, eyeglasses, rain boot, permeable and oxygenated in readiness for emergencies.

The highpoint of the workshop included simulation exercise by the members of the Nigerian Red Cross society, Anambra State Chapter.

NOA sensitizes Bauchi people

From Ali Garba Bauchi

As part of its strategies to prevent any case of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in Bauchi State, the National Orientation Agency (NOA) has embarked on grassroots enlightenment on how to prevent the disease.

Addressing newsmen yesterday in Bauchi, state NOA Director, Hajia Jummai Bello, observed that agency would not fold its arms and allow EVD fever come near the people of the state, noting that the campaign against the disease was a collective effort.

Bello, who said that the key message was personal hygiene, added that her agency has therefore organized a sensitization programme for people in the 20 local government areas of the state on hand washing before eating and relationship with people suspected to have contacted the disease.

Bello said that the citizens have also been sensitized to avoid areas with reported cases of Ebola and report suspected cases to health centres as well.

LASAA partners OAAN, others on virus

- To waive N240m billboard fees

By Clarkson Eberu

AS part of efforts to deepen ongoing sensitization exercises regarding the deadly Ebola virus disease (EVD), the Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA) has struck partnership with the Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN), Insight Communications Limited and some leading electronic billboard operators in the state to make available their platforms free of charge for information dissemination relating to the scourge in strategic locations across the nation's economic capital.

The move would see operators waiving about N240 million in advert space.

LASAA's Managing Director, George Noah, disclosed that the campaign would focus on key areas relating to the spread and management of the disease, including modes of transmission, preventive measures, symptoms and helplines.

He said: "This initiative is designed to compliment efforts being made by the Lagos State government in curbing the spreading of Ebola. It is borne out of the need to enlighten the public about the disease and the need to adopt preventive measures.

Noah continued: "We hope to achieve this with the use of electronic billboard advertisements which we would be rolling out in collaboration with our esteemed partners who see this as a corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative.

"In all, we would make use of 32 electronic billboards across strategic locations in the state," he revealed.

To OAAN President, Charles Chijide, the move was noble, adding that "outdoor as a major part of the marketing communications mix play its part in sensitizing the public on the Ebola scourge."

Also speaking, the Managing Director, Insight Communications, Jimi Awosika, who reaffirmed his company's backing, noted that "the advertising is mindful of its role in the society at times like this and is willing to undertake its corporate social responsibility."

'Involve NGOs, civil society groups to stop spread'

From Tunji Omofoye Osogbo

A NON-governmental organization, the Society Awareness Response On Epidemic Diseases, CARE-D, has called for proper management of cases of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) to stem its further spread.

The organization however, accused some hospitals of rejecting patients with symptoms relating to EVD, the development it claimed may lead to unnecessary loss of lives through ailments with similar symptoms with the deadly disease.

Addressing a press conference in Osogbo yesterday, the Convener of the group, Aremu Stephen, frowned at non-engagement of civil societies and communities, saying the government-led response to the scourge dwelt more of health sector.

While alleging that not enough attention was given to educating the public about Ebola by government, Aremu, said lack of information, sensationalism by the media and secrecy by health care givers about survivors of the EVD are having adverse effects on government's efforts to nip the disease in the bud.

Speaking further, Aremu said owing to the poor understanding of the disease and how it can be managed, "a patient living with HIV, but manifesting symptoms relating to Ebola was rejected in several hospitals he went to for medical attention in Lagos. It is frightening that medical personnel could do such a thing.

"We have also had reports from other states in the country of rejection of patients by health care givers over the fear that they may be Ebola patients. So far, from reports all those rejected patients were not carrying the disease, but were denied attention by those who ought to take care of them.

"This situation has led to death in some cases and may make people suffering from the disease not to present themselves for treatment. It may worsen the situation."

Speaking further, Aremu, who strongly objected to the manner identities of the persons that have died from the disease are being treated, he stressed that keeping their identities secret, especially those that died caring for infected persons may rob them the opportunities of being honoured and celebrated.

The NGO, then called for involvement of civil society groups by all tiers of government in monitoring Ebola disease and assured that it could come in form of of partnership with government, health workers, media and other relevant stakeholders towards ensuring that the disease is eradicated.

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