Ebola: Lagos to deploy health workers to Sierra Leone

Former Governor of Lagos, Babatunde Fashola

The Lagos State Government on Sunday said it was finalising arrangements to deploy some health workers who helped in the containment of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the state to Sierra Leone.

The Governor, Babatunde Fashola, made the announcement in Ikeja while speaking at a programme to commemorate the 2,700 days of his administration in office.

The governor said the health workers were to replicate the state’s containment strategies in Sierra-Leone.

Mr. Fashola said although Nigeria was, as of now, free from the disease, there was still the risk of new infections from cross-border movements.

He, therefore, said the state’s planned mission to Sierra Leone was not only to assist the country to overcome the great health challenge, but also reduce the risk of the disease to countries within the sub-region.

Sierra Leone accounts for a substantial number of the over 4,000 global Ebola deaths.

“Lagos is free from Ebola, Nigeria is free from Ebola. But that does not mean there cannot be another case. For as long as people are moving from countries to countries, the risk of infections is still there,” Mr. Fashola said.

“That is why I appeal to the Federal Government to continue to scrutinise people travelling into Nigeria from land, sea and air from regions where the problem is still ravaging.

“That is why some of the things the commissioner for health will be announcing very soon is the arrangements we are making to send some of our health workers and volunteers to go and help out in Sierra Leone.

“That is the only way we, the whole of Africa and the World can be safe.”

The governor expressed optimism that EVD, just like other infectious diseases like Cholera that had once ravaged humanity without remedy, would soon get a cure.

He said Nigerians needed not live in fear of the disease coming back into the country but urged them to take precautions that would guard against new infections in the country.

Mr. Fashola said the state government had taken a number of initiatives to prevent a return of Ebola in the state.

Some of the strategies, according to him, include the deployment of screening equipment to schools and hospitals and the construction of sanitary facilities in schools.

Others are training and retraining of personnel on infectious diseases diagnosis and the sensitisation of residents on how to be safe from the problem.

Mr. Fashola also announced that he had appointed Dr Oluwakemi Sekoni his Scientific Adviser as a move to enhance better response to Ebola disease and other infectious ailments.

The governor said the responsibilities of the new adviser would include providing public information about infectious diseases for effective response.

Others are actions and co-ordinating science-based research on food sufficiency, air pollution and helping in all other things that were likely to improve the general wellbeing of Lagos residents.

“Today, I am announcing the appointment of Dr. Oluwakemi Sekoni as my Chief Scientific Adviser. She would be presented at a formal induction ceremony shortly,” he said.

Reeling out some of his achievements in the last 100 days, Mr. Fashola said the Mainland Power Plant which would supply interrupted power to government facilities in mainland area was completed within the period.

He said the government also inaugurated a Power Academy that would train people on all aspects of electricity generation, distribution and transmission and help improve the power sector.

Mr. Fashola said the government also trained no fewer than 3,000 farmers on various aspects of agriculture and supported them with items to support their businesses.

He said work was speeded up at the 70-gallon Adiyan Water Works to improve water supply in the state. (NAN)


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