Ebola: NMA Tasks International Border LGs

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The Nigerian Medical
Association (NMA), on Saturday, urged local governments with international border crossings to institute surveillance and screening  mechanisms for incoming  passengers to curtail further spread of the Ebola Virus.
The President of the association, Dr Kayode Obembe,made the call at an interactive session with the media to inaugurate the ‘2014 International Physicians Week’ in Abuja.
Obembe said that the nation should not relent in its efforts at strengthening its health system.
He said that 3,879 out of 8,033 people that contacted the infections had died, according to the UN health authorities.
Obembe said the worst hit nations are Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
“In view of the ravaging potential of this disease, Nigeria should not relent on her efforts to strengthen her health system by embarking on precautions and preventions necessary to keep Ebola at bay,” the NMA president stated further.
Obembe said there was need for the provision of necessary supportive and definitive care by facility staff.
Other recommendations, he said, included support by secondary healthcare facilities and government health services on the disease surveillance to complement the observations at the primary healthcare level.
He, however, called on the PHC department to institute community health education— highlighting mechanisms of transmission, protective measures and need for prompt treatment for probable and actual cases of EVD.
The president, who described the disease as highly infectious and contagious, said that the aim of its prevention was to interrupt transmission of the virus and contain the disease since its treatment was not currently available.
“The way forward in EVD is strengthening of the National Routine Surveillance (NRS) and notification system, revitalising the health sector infrastructural development, provision of basic amenities, conflict resolution and management.
“Others include capacity building and development of health workers on diagnosis, case management and infection prevention and control, public information and community mobilization,  and the setting up of outbreak response committee,’’ he said.
Obembe said that the NMA is committed to the resolution by the World Medical Association of October 11 as adopted in Durban, South Africa.
He said that the WMA tasked local, national government and agencies such as WHO managing the epidemic, to commit adequate training in infection control measures.
It would be recalled that the symptoms of EVD include diarrhoea, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and bleeding,
Its management is primarily through infection control, the use of protective equipment by health workers and those disposing off body fluids and supportive care for sick patients.