Ebola Outbreak: Nigerian Government calls for heightened vigilance

Gloria Essien, Abuja

The Nigerian 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 public health officials.

This is in response to the announcement by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on confirmed cases of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The Government has also directed Port Health officials to step up inspection activities and 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”

The Minister urged Nigerians not to panic as the Nigeria Centre 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 said.

He called on states to begin social mobilisation and media awareness efforts via TV, Radio, Print and Social Media.

Prof. Adewole also charged state health ministry’s to strengthen their supervision services and escalate any incident appropriately and directed all Nigerian health workers to maintain a high index of suspicion by screening all fevers for Ebola

Similarly, the minister encouraged 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.