Ebola: FG Stops Repatriation Of Corpses From Congo

The Federal Government has banned the transportation of corpses from Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, following the outbreak of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease, EVD in the Central African country.

Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris disclosed this on Friday at a news conference, saying that the state was collaborating with the Federal Ministry of Health to ensure that there was no outbreak of EVD in the country.

“We are in collaboration with Port Health Services, Federal Ministry of Health with commencement of regional screening of passengers from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and neighbouring countries for any suspected cases of EVD or other VHFs. Embargo has also been placed on transportation of corpses from DRC,” Idris said.

He  said factsheets on Ebola for health workers had been sent to the CMD of LASUTH, Medical Directors of General Hospital; the Primary Health Board; Health Service Commission and the Chairman Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners, Association of Laboratory Scientist of Nigeria, Association of Nursing and Midwifery Association of Nigeria and Morgue operators.

‘The State and LGA Disease Surveillance and Notification of Officers (DSNOs) have been sensitised on Ebola and other Viral Haemorrhagic Fevers, especially on prompt reporting of any detected suspected cases of Ebola and other VHFs by the Ministry in collaboration with the World Health organisation.

“The Ministry collaborated with Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and West African Health Organisation (WAHO) in March 2018 to organised Yellow fever outbreak simulation exercise to strengthen the preparedness and response of all levels of health workers to health emergencies which has similar principles for control of Ebola Virus Disease.

“NCDC and Robert Koch Institute Germany in collaboration with the Ministry of Health is organising  training of health workers in public and private health facilities on Infection Prevention and Control from May 15-18, 2018,” Idris stated.

Idris added that the isolation centre in Mainland Hospital, Yaba had been reactivated for treatment of any suspected or confirmed cases, as well as prepositioning of Personal Protective Equipment and other consumables in public health facilities in the State.

He appealed to appeal to all Lagosians to reduce their risk of infection by observing high standard of personal and environmental hygiene by washing their hands often with soap and water, avoid close contact with people who were sick, avoid touching or washing of dead bodies if not trained to do so and ensure that objects used  by the sick were decontaminated and properly disposed.

Idris urged health workers to be at alert and observe  hand washing before and after procedure, use of hand gloves, goggles and face shields; wearing of overalls, wearing of safety boots when appropriate and wearing of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

“Mortuary attendants are to observe standard precautions in handling of corpses referred to the morgue.  Patients should be nursed in isolation and report same to the LGA or Ministry of Health immediately,” he said.

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