Ebola: Public transport commuters, okada riders at risk – MDCAN

An Ebola patient being attended to
An Ebola patient being attended to

As cases of the Ebola virus continue to surface, the Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria, MDCAN, on Friday described the approach of prevention as advocated by the Nigerian authorities at federal and state levels as inadequate.

This was made known in a statement by the association’s president, Steven Oluwole.

MDCAN also said motorcycle operators, popularly known as Okada riders, and their passengers are at great risk of contracting and spreading the virus.

MDCAN faulted government’s communication on prevention approaches saying it places emphasis only on avoiding handshake and contact with body fluid of those already tested positive for the virus.

Mr. Oluwole said that approach ignores looking at the modes of transportation in Nigeria – crowded vehicles and motor bikes that encourage intimate body contacts.

MDCAN highlighted areas it considered as a knowledge and action deficit in dealing with the disease.

“Rigorous contact tracing were not instituted after the index case was identified in Lagos; failure to model that infected health workers in Lagos may have transmitted it to contacts whilst shopping, commuting, or recreating; failure to model that contacts of Ebola cases in Lagos may have travelled to any other region in the country; no evidence of establishment of Ebola management centres in all regions of the country; no evidence of procurement and distribution of safety equipments to protect staff; no evidence of training of staff to effectively manage cases; no evidence of protocols have been developed and circulated to staff for case identification ; no evidence of protocols have been developed to specially transport suspected cases to treatment centres,” MDCAN stated.

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