Maku to Nigerians: Take Ebola patients to quarantine centres, not prayer houses

Minister of Information, Labaran Maku

The Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, on Monday in Abuja advised Nigerians to avoid moving possible Ebola patients to prayer houses.

Mr. Maku was speaking at a conference organised by the Ministry of Health to provide guidelines to commissioners of health on how to sensitise the people on Ebola Virus Disease. He said that while it was important to note that God performed miracles, the public should help the federal government contain the disease by leaving their loved ones at the designated quarantine centres.

Referring to the story of the centurion in the Bible, he asked relatives to rather send names of patients to prophets and religious leader for prayers.

“Miracles should take place in quarantine centres. If you have a prayer warrior in Lagos, just send the name of the person to him for the miracle,” Mr. Maku said.

He said that while the disease was deadly, it was important to note that there was no need to stigmatise anyone with the infectious disease. He called on persons who might show the disease’s symptoms to help by reporting themselves to quarantine centres in order to save their own lives and that of their family members.

He also encouraged state Commissioners of Health to work towards the translation of pamphlets shared at the conference to their various local dialects.

Thanking the media for its efforts since the Ebola outbreak, he asked media houses to ensure that stories on the disease did not cause anxiety among residents. He also asked them to help in public enlightenment.

The Head, Port Health Services, Sani Gwarzo, said that Nigeria had started land border screening in Seme and Idiriko. He said it was the responsibility of every country to protect its borders.

Mr. Gwarzo said since the outbreak of the disease, the Ports Health Services was making sure that it delivered safe, healthy and easy screening at all ports and borders in Nigeria.

The Ebola Virus Disease spread to Nigeria in July through a Liberian-American, Patrick Sawyer, who evaded quarantine in Liberia. Nine Nigerians have since tested positive for the virus with one dead.

Also, 177 primary and secondary contacts of the index case have been isolated.

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