KWARA State government Thursday announced the discovery of a suspected case of Ebola virus in Ilorin.
The suspected case, a boy of seven months old, was said to have been treated for fever at a private hospital in the town.
His mother was said to have travelled from Ibadan, the Oyo State capital to Ilorin when the boy fell ill.
When the condition did no improve after two days on admission as he persisted in stooling and vomiting, he was referred to a pediatrician who is the proprietor of another clinic.
After spending about three hours in the referred hospital, according to the Senior Special Assistant on Public Health to Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, Prof. Sunday Opakunle, the proprietor of the clinic said there were traces of blood in the stool, and quickly alerted the Ebola Committee on the development.
According to Opakunle at a press briefing in Ilorin, “ordinarily the symptoms could have been something else, but in view of the prevailing global scourge on Ebola, we decided not to take chances on it. We moved into action, by evacuating the baby and the mother to our isolated ward for Ebola at Sobi Specialist Hospital where the boy is placed on examination and treatment. Besides, we have sealed the clinics for a few days and de contaminated them.”
He disclosed that no history of contact was established between the patient as none of those around the baby was symptomatic.
He said the next stage was to conduct examination and Laboratory Medical Imaging on him.
Opabola said, the samples of the baby had been sent to Lagos, Redeemer University and Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) with a promise that the results would be made available “later today.”
Besides, he disclosed that the state government has concluded plans to install its own test machines at the State’s Advanced Diagnostic Centre in Ilorin to cater for any future emergencies relating to Ebola.
Already, three quarantined centres have been established in the State Opabola said members of the public should not panic but religiously follow all the laid down preventive measures on the scourge.
NYSC asks states to integrate orientation camps into preventive measures’
From Hendrix Oliomogbe, Asaba
WORRIED over the rising cases of Ebola virus, the Director General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig. Gen. Johnson Olawumi has directed all state Commissioners of Health to integrate the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Orientation camps into their contingency plans in case of any suspected outbreak of the contagious disease.
Olawumi who spoke after inspecting the Delta State Orientation Camp at Issele-Uku, Aniocha North council of the State yesterday explained that all NYSC camp clinics have been equipped with necessary items for the medical personnel to properly handle any suspected patient of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).
He assured corps members of adequate security in any part of the country, saying that the scheme was in partnership with state governments across the federation in an integrated framework geared towards ensuring the safety of corps members throughout the service year.
VC charges scientists on cure
From Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu, Benin City
The Vice Chancellor, Benson Idahosa University, Benin City, Prof. Ernest Izevbigie yesterday charged scientists in the country on the need to research into how to find a cure for the dreaded Ebola virus.
He stated this at a press briefing heralding the school’s 10th convocation ceremony where he said 456 students would graduate from the school.
He said “The world has been in a state of panic over the re-emergence of Ebola virus, we have a lot of professionals in this country. We have many professors in this country in various fields. The essence of the attainment of academic excellence is to do research. You don’t get professorship as a honour just like that, you have to engage in active research for societal value. He added: “Some of us have been saying America should do more, the West should do more, I have a different approach which is that everybody should do more. The global community should do more, we should not look for somebody to come and solve our problems.
China pledges N850m for affected W’ African countries
•Pharmacists promise to help halt spread
By Chukwuma Muanya and Kenechukwu Ezeonyejiaku
Chinese government yesterday promised to provide a total value of N850 million (30 million Yuan/5 million USD) emergency humanitarian aid for the three Ebola-stricken West African countries to help them deal with the scourge.
In a similar development, the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) has also pledged support in the fight against the spread of the deadly virus.
According to a statement by the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Lagos, the humanitarian supplies are mainly protective clothing and gears, monitoring devices, sprays, drugs and other medical equipment, and has been shipped to the destination by the chartered flight on August 10.
The Consulate said the recent outbreak of the Ebola in such three West Africa countries as Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone poses a serious threat to the local people’s health and life, adding ,“The nations acted quickly after the outbreak by mobilizing social forces, local and international resources to fight against the spread of epidemic, trying their best to minimize the loss of life of local people.”
The statement reads: “A friend in need is a friend indeed. Chinese and African peoples are good brothers, good friends and good partners, who grow together by sharing weal and woe, and always support and help each other.”
Besides the above-mentioned emergency supplies, medical teams sent by Chinese government in these countries are actively participating in treating of Ebola patients, regardless of their personal safety, making great contribution to the epidemic prevention and control.”
In a statement, the PSN noted that as emphasis is on prevention of the spread of the disease, it has become imperative for them to take drastic actions to help arrest the impending epidemic which has no known cure at the moment.
U.S. embassy to partner Nigeria on surveillance at airports
From Joke Falaju, Abuja
The United State Embassy in Nigeria has pledged to assist the Federal Government in the scale up surveillance at the nation’s airport to curtail the spread of the Ebola Virus diseases.
The Deputy Chief Information Officer, US Embassy, Maria Brewers who stated this during a courtesy call on the Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka in Abuja.
She said: “I think Nigerian government is on track towards retaining the Category1 status even in the face of the outbreak of the Ebola disease in the country, and I think the government has taken the right steps in curtailing the virus and we intend to work with you in all the airports.”
She said the embassy has been working with the Aviation Ministry both in Abuja and Lagos to ensure proper screening of passengers coming in and out of the country, and the Center for Disease Control was working with the government to ensure that the disease is stamped out and it does not further impact any population.
She stressed the need for more public health workers who would engage in screening of passengers who are coming in and out of the country, adding that its public health communicators have been sensitizing Nigerians on ways of preventing the spread of the virus.
Chidoka in his remark, assured that the outbreak of the Ebola virus, would not be a damper the country preparedness for Category 1 certification status, rather it would increase preparedness.
He further assured that Nigeria was on track and is addressing all the necessary gaps in the attainment of the Category1 status so that when the inspection team comes back all the facilities would have been put in place.
Salt not antidote to Ebola, says NAFDAC
Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr Paul Orhii has advised members of the public to disregard rumours purporting that salt can cure complication resulting from the Ebola virus which has so far killed two persons in the country and put eight others under intensive management.
While urging the public to stop listening to rumours of an Ebola cure, Orhii said there was no known cure for the deadly virus at the moment and advised members of the public to embrace strict personal hygiene by washing of hands with soap or hand sanitizer and avoid crowded places.
The NAFDAC boss gave this advice while inaugurating the latest batch of corp members into NAFDAC/NYSC-CDS group at NYSC orientation camp, Kubwa in Abuja. Orhii was represented at the event by the Director, Special Duties of the Agency, Dr. Abubakar JIimoh.
Taking cognizance of the importance of accurate and reliable public health information, Orhii said NAFDAC was strengthening its partnership with the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), through the design of new strategies geared towards consolidating on the gain made so far in the area of public enlightenment and youth advocacy to eradicate the menace of fake drugs and unwholesome regulated products.
The NAFDAC DG said the agency’s partnership with NYSC through NAFDAC/NYSC-CDS group has recorded great successes in reaching the grassroots with messages of safe food and drug practices.
He added that the move necessitated NAFDAC to build on the successes of its previous strategies and increase its support and commitment towards ensuring that Corp members are empowered with the right information to be ambassadors of the agency in their places of primary assignment.
He said, “the thrust of this strategy is anchored on the unassailable mileage of the youth corps members and gravitating on their creative energies in educating Nigerians particularly at the hinterlands on the regulatory activities of the agency”