Dr. Alhaji Mohammed Agbeve, CEO and Senior Doctor of Agbeve Herbal Hospital has warned Ghanaians against the reliance on sanitizers as a means of preventing Ebola from infecting them.
In an interview with this reporter, Dr. Agbeve who has over the past few weeks been speaking on the disease revealed that he was extremely disturbed by the sheer ignorance being displayed by the people of Ghana on the disease and it’s implications.
According to him, even though he personally uses sanitizers to ensure that his hands are not contaminated with bacteria, he is against the recommendation of sanitizers as a tool for fighting the Ebola Virus.
He said that the wrong information being peddled that the Virus can be killed by sanitizer would motivate people to rely on it and live carelessly without taking precautionary measures.
He said, “Sanitizers only kill a certain percentage of bacteria, whereas MR. Ebola is a Virus and once a person comes into contact with the body fluid of an Ebola patient, no amount of sanitizer can save that person”
“As much as I recommend sanitizers generally for the purpose of living hygienically, I want to make it clear that with Ebola, everyone who lives carelessly is at risk”
Blood, urine, saliva, vomits and sweat and other body fluids of carriers are the only known medium of infection from person to person” he added.
He also revealed that, someone can also get infected by handling soiled clothing or bed sheets without protection, and then touching their nose, mouth or eyes, whereas others catch the disease by eating infected bush meat, as Ebola can sicken animals including bats, chimpanzees and antelopes.
He was however quick to add that, thoroughly cooked bush meet isn’t dangerous like perceived by people.
He therefore called on all and sundry to for the time being, avoid any form of body contact with people, especially those sweating and bleeding
An obviously disturbed Agbeve said “the most difficult thing to do is to avoid shaking the hand of someone when it is offered. It is very un-Ghanaian but once people are well educated on it, the temptation will be prevented because everyone will protect himself or herself.
He impressed on government to intensify the campaign and through the various MMDAs, draw a special program for our rural folk who largely dependent on bush meat.
The most vulnerable people are health care workers and family members or others who care for the sick. Because of the deadly nature of the disease, health workers should wear protective gear, especially when handling things like contaminated syringes. Such equipment is not commonly available in Ghana, and the disease isn’t always quickly recognized. Symptoms are similar to other diseases like malaria and cholera.
“As long us right under our nose, in our neighboring African countries Ebola cases have recorded, we can no longer treat the disease as a distance disease until it get here.
“We have to act and act decisively” he concluded.
Isaac Kyei Andoh
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