Ebola Management Today
Morning Crossfire deals with a very important topic that most Nigerians are interested in commenting on. As usual, we have the duo of Wemimo Adewuni and Sheriff Quadri discussing with a few resource persons in the studio of Nigeria Info 99.3 FM.
Wemimo starts by referring to the warning that NCAA gave about Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has issued warning to airlines over the resurgence of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), following the World Health Organization (WHO's) declaration of Ebola outbreak as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
Consequently, the NCAA directed all operators, especially airlines operating regional and international flights into the country, to exercise a high level of vigilance. In a letter, NCAA directed airlines' Pilots in Command (PIC) to report to Air Traffic Control (ATC) any suspected case of communicable disease on board their flight in line with Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs 184.108.40.206). The NCAA explained that in case of a suspected case of communicable disease on board an aircraft, aircrew are required to fill the General Declaration (Gen Dec) and Public Health Passenger Locator forms as required by the regulations.
Thereafter, completed forms are to be submitted to the Port Health Services (PHS) of the destination aerodrome, NCAA said. The authority also directed operators to contact Port Health Services for clearance before importing human remains into the country in the event of death of a patient.
Wemimo continues with a brief on the history of Ebola. She says that the first case of Ebola Virus Disease was confirmed in Lagos Nigeria on 23 July 2014. EVD was imported into Nigeria by the late Liberian diplomat Patrick Sawyer who arrived via Murtala Mohammed Airport Lagos on July 20, 2014 on a flight from Monrovia to Lagos. The current outbreak in eastern DR is the biggest of the 10 to hit the country since 1976, when the virus was first discovered.
On October 20th 2014, Nigeria was declared free of EVD by World Health Organization. After Nigeria had contained Ebola in 2014, there have been several subsequent outbreaks in the country such as Lassa fever, Monkey pox, yellow fever and cholera.
Commenting on the issue, Chinyere Ugo tells us more about the situation with EVD at the present time. “Ebola is still the same deadly viral disease,” she says. “It still causes hemorrhagic fever. Ebola goes through blood, body fluids, and affects all parts of the body. So a person has to observe precautions and hygiene to prevent it. In fact the best way to safeguard oneself is by traveling to those places where they have discovered the virus.”
She also explains what hemorrhagic fever is, by referring to headache, muscle aches, sore throat, high fever, and more. When it gets worse, it destroys the immune system and at this stage, the victim starts coughing out blood and there is also internal bleeding. This is the stage where it gets to hemorrhage. That has to do with blood. “People start coughing out blood, blood comes out of the nose, the ears, and eyes.”
The warning by NCAA is offered as a precautionary measure in case the situation actually reaches Nigeria a second time. The warning has been going out to all the 36 states of the federation.
The questions put forward are; how could passengers be protected when an airplane has a passenger that’s infected? What about other borders and people going in and out? How can we improve on our health system as a country?
Rotimi Sankore debunks the effectiveness of using hand-held scanners. He believes these are not effective as a full body thermal scanner would be.
Watch the video below and don't forget to leave your comments as well.
- Policy and Development Expert, Rotimi Sankore
- Senior Laboratory scientist, Chinyere Ugo
Others joined on the phone lines.
Morning Crossfire with Wemimo Adewuni (@wemimospot) & Sheriff Quadry (@SheriffQuadry), alongside Rotimi Sankore (@RotimiSankore)
Written by Jude Chukwuemeka