Over 200 Abuja women were on Thursday sensitized on the current outbreak of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease, EVD, in Nigeria.
The sensitization was organized by the Women for Change and Development Initiative, W4CDI, an initiative of Nigeria’s First Lady, Patience Jonathan.
Doctors and nurses from the State House Clinic, Abuja, who all spoke in Pidgin English, educated the women on the need for personal hygiene, prevention, symptoms, treatment, and best actions to take if Ebola Virus Disease is suspected.
One of the doctors, Taiwo Fasoranti, lectured the women on symptoms and possible ways of preventing the spread of the deadly disease.
Mr. Fasoranti spoke against self-medication. He advised the women to take anybody with headache or fever to the nearest health facility or call the Ebola help lines.
Another doctor, Ibrahim Bashir, debunked various myths about possible cure for the disease.
“Some people talk say, why Ebola no dey Ibadan na because Ibadan people dey chop Ewedu (a Yoruba delicacy), na lie ooh! Ewedu no dey cure Ebola. Even water and salt, bitter kola or bleach, none of them dey cure Ebola,” Mr. Bashir said.
Mr. Bashir said it was important to note that tissue paper should be used after washing hands in public places instead of towels.
He advised the women to create spaces in their handbags for good hand sanitizers. This he said could be use in places where water and soap cannot be found.
The right method of hand washing and the use of other antiseptics like hand sanitizers were demonstrated by Mr. Bashir.
Demonstrating the globally approved 20 seconds hand washing technique, Mr. Bashir advised all the women to wash their hands as many times as possible, especially when they come back from errands.
“When you go market, come back, before you carry your pikin wey dey do mama oyoyo, abeg go wash your hand first,” he said.
Two nurses, Braide Ibimina and Chinyere Chikezie, also spoke on prevention, treatment and recovery from Ebola.
The National Coordinator, Women for Change and Development Initiative, Rabiu Ibrahim, advised the women not to run from health officers who may come to their houses to check them.
Listing gift materials in the package provided for the women, Mrs. Ibrahim told them to make good use of it. She also told the women not to hoard information they received but to share in other to help educate their children, husbands and neighbours.
Items in the package for the women include: hand sanitizers, disinfectant, bleach, antiseptic soaps, towels, body contact thermometer, pamphlets for Ebola advocacy and sensitization.
Since it was brought into the country by a Liberian-American, Patrick Sawyer, in July, 19 people have been infected with the Ebola virus: 15 in Lagos and four in Port Harcourt.
However, Nigeria has successfully recorded 12 survivors while seven have died from the disease. Sixteen others are still under surveillance in Lagos while 490 others are under surveillance in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.