September 19, 2014 – The Lagos State Government has distributed infra-red hand-held scanners for measuring body temperature to 1007 Ebola Focal Officers in public primary schools and 668 Ebola Focal Officers in public secondary schools in Lagos.
Special Adviser to the State Governor on Public Health, Dr. Yewande Adeshina who disclosed this at a sensitization seminar for the Ebola Focal Officers explained that the officers will be responsible for surveillance and monitoring of the disease in each school and interface between the schools and primary healthcare centers if the need arises.
Adeshina said government also planned to avail water to public schools which are not connected to the public water supply adding that gloves and liquid soaps for hand washing have also been procured to aid personal and environmental hygiene.
Adeshina noted that there is no need for people to panic because of Ebola adding that only a sick Ebola patient that can spread the disease via direct contact with the broken skin, mucous membranes and secretions of an infected person or through direct contact with materials and surfaces that have been contaminated by an infected person.
“Lagosians, please remain calm. There is no reason to panic as your government in partnership with the Federal Government and development partners is resolved and committed to contain the disease”.
While noting that the containment of Ebola is a shared responsibility of all citizens, the Special Adviser implored Ebola Focal Officers to take the issue of personal and environmental hygiene with utmost importance and report any suspicious case of the disease to the appropriate quarters or call the Ebola help line.
Adeshina explained that they have also been provided with guidelines on how to prevent the spread of the disease, stressing that one of the goals of the seminar is to enlighten them on what they need to know about Ebola and what should be done on suspicion of the disease.
She reiterated that Ebola infection is not a death sentence as evidenced by the recovery of nine confirmed cases in Lagos who have now been discharged with five of them meeting the State Governor to recount their ordeal.
She noted that the common thread amongst the recovered cases remains their early presentation for supportive treatment adding that there is the need to report any suspected case since the earlier they are brought for screening and surveillance, the better the outcome.
She opined that all hands must be on deck in order to get to the home stretch after the last curve is achieved in a very timely fashion having gone this far with the containment measures.