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Ebola: Bauchi residents shun meat; fish patronage soars

Edo, Ondo, FCT allay fears
Fashola counsels Customs

Following the red  alert  over Ebola killer virus across the country, fish sellers are being heavily patronised in Bauchi, the Bauchi State capital, as residents shun meat in the light of the claim that the virus could be contracted through the eating of bush meat.

In Lagos, Governor Babatunde Fashola called for professionalism in Customs and Immigration Service at the borders to stop the virus from entering Nigeria.  Edo State government, pre-emptorily, called for vigilance in the state.

Also, yesterday, ASKY Airlines, which conveyed the Ebola victim who died in Lagos from Liberia, was cleared by the NCAA to resume flying into Nigeria.
In the meantime, an American doctor infected with the Ebola virus became the first to be flown to the U.S. for treatment and arrived, yesterday, in Atlanta, a missionary group said.

Medical doctors attending to an Ebola virus disease victim
Medical doctors attending to an Ebola virus disease victim

Reports from Bauchi, yesterday, said fish sellers  at Wunti, Muda Lawal and Central markets, as well as those along the Maiduguri Road confirmed high patronage over the last few days.  High patronage is also being recorded by business owners who have fish ponds in the state.
Mrs. Bolaji Olorunwaju, a fish seller, said the Ebola alert scared people away from consuming bush meat, adding that they now patronize fish.
“Since last week, I have made great profit from the sale of fish. I now make between five to ten thousand naira a day unlike the former situation when I made five thousand a day.”
Another seller opposite the Bauchi stadium, Sani Maigari, said his fish business had blossomed in the last two weeks because of the fear by residents that the Ebola virus could be contacted through the consumption of meat.
Reacting to the development, the Director of the State Primary Health Care Development Agency, PHCDA, Umar Gamawa, said the state government had put in place measures to forestall the outbreak of the virus.

In Lagos, Governor Fashola called for professionalism in Customs and Immigration Service at the  borders to check Ebola.
Fashola, who spoke to journalists at the Lagos House, Ikeja, charged the men and women at the nation’s border posts; airports, seaports and land borders, especially men of the Customs and Immigration Service, to be conscious of their added responsibility as the first line of defence for the country against the deadly disease.
“Quite aside from localizing the spread, the men and women at our border posts, especially the Customs and the Immigration Services must now know that they are our first line of defence. What happens going forward depends on how professionally they act. It is prevention rather than just calling health workers to come and quarantine people that are really the strongest defence now against the migration of the virus”, the governor said.
Fashola said the disease could be contained if it is localized than to allow free entry of people at the nation’s numerous borders adding, “This is no longer a local problem; it is an international problem because it is being transmitted across the borders”.

Edo State government, yesterday, announced that there was no trace of Ebola in the state. The government, however, advised the people to remain vigilant and report any suspicious case to the nearest health facility.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr Aihanuwa Eregie, who addressed journalists, said his ministry, in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other health partners had carried out disease surveillance activities in all parts of the state to ensure early detection of any outbreak and the timely containment and control of same.

In Ondo, the state government commenced moves to contain Ebola.
Health Commissioner, Dr. Dayo Adeyanju, organised a one-day sensitisation meeting with public and private health practitioners in the state on Ebola.
According to him, the state had designated three hospitals with facilities to quarantine any suspected case in the state.
The centres are Federal Medical Centre, Owo for the northern senatorial district, State Specialist Hospital, Akure for the central senatorial district and the State Specialist Hospital, Okitipupa to take care of the south.
The commissioner also said that the state would train 30 barrier nurses to operate the three centres.
Adeyanju also said that health facilities across the state would be strengthened with equipment to prevent the spread of the disease into the state.

In Abuja, residents were urged to be vigilant and  report any suspicious case to a health facility nearest to them.
According to the FCT Administration, in the face of the Ebola hemorrhagic fever threat, it was stepping up implementation of key outbreak containment strategies including community engagement and involvement, tracing of contacts, sensitization of health workers at all levels both public and private, provision of personal protective equipment, distribution of information leaflets as well as ensure that was effective coordination of all response activities.
The Secretary, FCTA Health and Human Services Secretariat, Dr Demola Onakomaiya, explained that the virus has an incubation period of 2- 21days before the onset of symptoms.

ASKY Airline yesterday resumed flight operations to Nigeria after Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, lifted the suspension placed on the airline on Friday. This is coming after a series of meetings between top management of the airlines, health experts and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority – NCAA, and a satisfactory report had been submitted with documentary evidence indicating a clear road map on all measures taken to prevent the spread of Ebola.

An American doctor infected with the Ebola virus was the first to be flown to the U.S. for treatment and  arrived, yesterday, in Atlanta, a missionary group said.
Two seriously ill American aid workers will be treated at Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital. Samaritan’s Purse missionary group spokesman Todd Shearer told newsmen that a plane carrying Dr. Kent Brantly had left West Africa. Brantly works for the group that is paying for the trip.
The private jet outfitted with a special, portable tent designed for transporting patients with highly infectious diseases arrived at Dobbins Air Force Base in Marietta, Georgia, just outside Atlanta.


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