EBOLA OUTBREAK IN CENTRAL AFRICA: HEALTH MINISTER CALLS FOR HEIGHTENED VIGILANCE
The Honorable Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole has called for heightened vigilance and intensified awareness efforts on the symptoms of hemorrhagic fevers.
The Minister noted that health care providers and the general public must immediately report any sign of illness to the public health officials immediately.
The Federal Government in response to the announcement by the World Health Organization (WHO) on confirmed cases of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has directed Port Health officials to step up inspection activities and to report any sick person or suspects to ensure that the State Epidemiologist in the states where there are present is immediately alerted and relevant tests conducted.
The Symptoms to look out for include; fever, fatigue, weakness dizziness and muscle aches. Patients with more severe cases show bleeding under the skin, internal organs or even from bodily orifices like mouth, ears, and the ears.
Nigerians are urged not to panic as the Nigeria Center for Disease Control is on ground and equipped to secure the health of citizens. The agency has for a while now, been strengthening states capacities to detect, manage and respond to hemorrhagic fevers including Lassa fever. He called on states to begin social mobilization and media awareness efforts via TV, Radio, Print and Social Media. Prof. Adewole also charged state health ministries to strengthen their supervision services and escalate any incident appropriately.
The Health minister directs all Nigerian health workers to maintain a high index of suspicion by screening all fevers for Ebola and other hemorrhagic fevers
Similarly, the minister encourages members of the public to observe a high level of personal hygiene which includes regular hand washing and to also report all cases of fever to the nearest health facility.