Fighting Ebola: Ghana should not panic; Nigeria counsels

As Ghana institutes measures to contain a possible outbreak of the dreaded Ebola virus, Nigeria says anxiety over the disease can make the situation worse.

Some countries fearing Ebola outbreak, have issued travel bans on visitors countries that have confirmed Ebola cases, particularly, West Africa where over 1,000 people have died of the disease.

However, the Incidence Manager at the Ebola Emergency Centre, Lagos, Nigeria Dr. Oguntimehin Olukayode said taking such panic actions cannot stop the spread of the disease.

Speaking on the Joy FM’s Super Morning Show which was broadcast live from Lagos, Dr. Olukayode said people can make nonsense of the travel ban by finding alternative means to enter those countries.

Latest update on the situation in Nigeria puts the casualty figure at about seven while 365 people have so far been surveyed since Liberian-American consultant arrived in that country with the disease and transmitted it to persons who first attended to him.

The crew of the SMS took a trip to the capital of Africa’s most populous nation to learn get a firsthand account of how Nigeria has been managing the outbreak there since it was first reported in July.

“When you panic, you stop thinking and when you stop thinking you make mistakes,” Dr. Olukayode told Show host, Kojo Yankson.

“Take nothing for granted, be always prepared and let your medical personnel do the standard infection prevention control for every ailment,” he counseled health workers in Ghana.

Asked how much Nigeria has budgeted to fight the disease, Dr. Olukayode said: “There is no budget…What we are doing is to spend as much as it takes…do whatever it takes”.

“You just do what is necessary,” he added.
He however, indicated that health workers who provide primary care to cases are adequately incentivized through financial compensation, to enable them give the best of care to patients.

“I won’t put a figure to that but somebody who has to face an Ebola case would earn something better than somebody who probably is a storekeeper handling materials”.

Nigeria’s response
Meanwhile, Kojo Yankson reported from the isolation centre, which is also the headquarters for the strategic and operational teams at the forefront of Nigeria’s fight against Ebola that, the level of awareness and the extent of public education in that country is extensive.

“The whole of Nigeria has declared a state of emergency. Schools are all closed down, and children are being kept at home.

“People don’t shake hands like they used to. Hand sanitizers are at the top of every shopping list in this city. The war against Ebola is raging in this throbbing, vibrant metropolis,” Kojo added. Story by Ghana | | Jerry Tsatro Mordy | [email protected]

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