Ebola Outbreak: Be Vigilant, FG Tells Nigerians
Ebola is in the news again. This time it is coming not from Liberia but from Democratic Republic of Congo.
Even though this is hundreds of thousands of miles away, Nigerians still need to be vigilant now more than ever before.
Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole, called for heightened vigilance and intensified awareness efforts on symptoms of hemorrhagic fevers following the outbreak of the disease in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Minister made the call in a statement issued on his behalf on Saturday in Abuja by the spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, Mrs Boade Akinola.
The Minister advised health care providers and Nigerians, to report any sign of illness to public health officials.
He said that in response to the announcement by the World Health Organization (WHO) on confirmed cases of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the government had directed health officials stationed at the ports, to step up inspection activities.
He said that the symptoms to look out for included fever, fatigue, weakness, dizziness and muscle aches.
Patients with more severe cases will show bleeding under the skin, internal organs or even from mouth and ears.
The Minister urged Nigerians not to panic as the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) was equipped to secure the health of citizens.
He said NCDC had been strengthening states capacities to detect, manage and respond to hemorrhagic fevers, including Lassa fever.
Adewole also requested that states should begin social mobilisation and media awareness efforts, via TV, Radio, Print and Social Media.
The Health minister directed all Nigerian health workers to maintain a high index of suspicion, by screening all fevers for Ebola and other hemorrhagic fevers.
The last time Ebola epidemic was recorded in Africa, a Liberian, Patrick Sawyer, brought it into the nation in 2014 and it claimed 8 lives.
The warning by the ministry is aimed at reducing the chances of having a repeat of the 2014 event.