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Ebola: RSG Provides 5000 Protective Gadgets For Volunteers

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The Rivers State Com
missioner for Health, Dr Tamunoyioriari Parker said the state government was providing 5,000 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for volunteers to contain the spread of Ebola Viral Disease.
Speaking in Lagos at a training programme organised by the Federal Minsitry of Health for volunteers to tackle the spread of Ebola in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, Parker said if the practices and strategy used in containing Ebola in Lagos and Rivers were adopted, “we should be able to eradicate EVD in the region.
He said, “we have established what should be good standard in the management of public health challenges, adding that  we can’t say we have contained and controlled the spread of EVD in Nigeria if these countries around us are still being ravaged by EVD.”
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary in the Minsitry, Mr Linus Awute, said at the opening of The Ebola Containment Training in Lagos, that the government was determined to tackle the disease.
Awute, represented by  Director, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Prof. Abduls-alami Nasidi, said that there were 504 volunteers.
Nasidi said the first batch of the trainees were 250 people drawn from all over the country, adding that almost 98 per cent of them participated in containing the EVD in Nigeria.
Awute said the first ever EVD in West Africa started in Guinea and was first reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) in March 2014.
He said: “Since then, the outbreak has spread to Liberia, Sierre Leone, Nigeria and Senegal. “This current outbreak attributed to EV Zaire strain is the most extensive outbreak of Ebola, affecting multiple countries, including Nigeria. “The total case counts and deaths are well beyond the cumulative total of all cases from previous known outbreaks, since its discovery in 1976’’.
He commended the health workers for having shown the spirit of togetherness by making up their minds to assist our neighbouring countries and tasked the volunteers to be law abiding and diligent in their duties.
Also,  the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, said that the country was still vulnerable, noting that the state government had decided not to disband the structure on Ebola but would always build upon it.

Assistant Manager, Total Nigeria, Dr (Mrs) Nkoyo Attah  (left) presenting Hi-tech screening machines to Dr. O. N. Iragunima representing Chief Medical  Director, Rivers State Hospital Management Board during  the office launch of the  Expanded  Community -HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria prevention project. With her is HRH EZE Amb (Dr) G.B. Odum (JP) (right) and  Mrs Hellen Nkwo (second right). Photo: Obina Prince Dele

Assistant Manager, Total Nigeria, Dr (Mrs) Nkoyo Attah (left) presenting Hi-tech screening machines to Dr. O. N. Iragunima representing Chief Medical Director, Rivers State Hospital Management Board during the office launch of the Expanded Community -HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria prevention project. With her is HRH EZE Amb (Dr) G.B. Odum (JP) (right) and Mrs Hellen Nkwo (second right). Photo: Obina Prince Dele

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COVID-19: ‘No Challenge In Community Sensitisation’

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As the fight to prevent the rampaging Coronavirus from infecting Rivers people continues, part of the measures adopted by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in reaching out to communities has so far not experienced any notable challenges.
The Lead Coordinator for the State Rapid Response Team for COVID-19, Mr Modekai Ifemide Olowole, who made this known after a recent routine assessment of performance of the Rapid Response Team on sensitization in Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt LGAs stated that the compliance level has been encouraging.
Olowole, who credited the success recoded so far to the existing mechanism in place, explained that the sensitisation team of the Rapid Response Team (RRT) works with Institutions on ground , adding that: ‘We have come together to offer our support.
“What we did was to sensitise the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to know how they can engage the communities in whatever they are doing.
“If while doing that they need some support from us, we have a Rapid Response Team (RRT) that are working on ground. They have mobility, they have everything,” he said.
According to him, each time any of the Civil Society Organisations has palliatives for instance, to give to members of any community, they use the opportunity to make presentations on COVID-19 preventive measures.
The RRT, sponsored by UNICEF in collaboration with the Rivers State Ministry of Health, and the Rivers State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA), he said, decided to adopt the method, knowing that many people in the communities are more bothered by how to overcome hunger than COVID-19.
“If you look at it economically, everybody is hungry. If you go to a community and tell them you want to sensitise them on how to wish hands, they will tell you they are hungry,” he said.
This, he explained further, is part of what Risk Communication entails, and is the platform through which UNICEF aims to support the state.
“UNICEF’s aim is to support the state wherever they are working to pilot a model that is of international best practices and present to the state. That is what we’re doing now,” he said.

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WHO Warns Against Lifting COVID-19 Lockdown

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The World Health Organisation, WHO, yesterday urged countries to apply caution in lifting COVID-19 lockdowns, warning of a resurgence of infections if current restrictions were relaxed too soon.
WHO’s Regional Director for the Western Pacific, Takeshi Kasai,said this during an online media briefing in Manila, The Tide source reports.
Kasai said that lockdown measures have proven effective by reducing transmission of the highly infectious disease while easing the burden on the overstretched health system.
“This is going to be a long battle. This is not the time to relax,” Kasai said.
Instead, he stressed the need to be ready for “a new way of living that strikes the right balance between the measures to keep the virus in check and enable vital parts of the economy and society to function.”
Kasai urged people in the region to protect themselves, their family and their community by physically distancing and frequently cleaning their hands.
Others are covering coughs and sneeze as well as staying at home and away from others, especially when sick.
He also urged the private sector to adopt new ways of working, such as establishing staff to work from home where possible and other measures to reduce the risk of infections in the workplace.
“For the government, this means preparing for the worst, having a system that works in every corner of the country to detect and care for people in case of large-scale community transmission,” he said.
Already, Kasai said, COVID-19 had upended millions of peoples’ lives and had caused a major economic impact on the world.

He said that the governments in the region were making “extremely complex decisions about introducing or enhancing or easing or lifting lockdowns and physical distancing measures.
“As we move forward in these difficult times, our lives, our health systems and approach to stopping transmission must continue to adapt and evolve along with the epidemic.”
According to him, until a vaccine is found, the process of adapting to the epidemic will have to become a new normal.
“There is no one-size-fits-all approach to doing this but WHO strongly urges that decisions on measures be guided by public health principles, the lifting of lockdowns, and other measures that need to be done gradually.
“If restrictions are relaxed or lifted before the strong system is in place to identify, isolate and care for this sick, and trace and quarantine their contacts, this will likely lead to a resurgence of diseases.
“As long as the new Coronavirus is circulating, no country is safe from potentially overwhelming outbreaks,” he said.
As at yesterday, Ghana had lifted its three weeks lock down imposed to tackle the spread of the disease.

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COVID-19: Body Charges Rivers On Thorough Hand Washing

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Amidst fears associated with the dreaded Coronavirus, which has been detected in most states, the Rivers State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA), says it has taken necessary precautionary measures to combat the Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.
Speaking while fielding questions from journalists, the General Manager of the Rivers State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA), Mr. Napoleon Adah, said such measures were aimed at raising awareness on proper and regular hand washing, and the use of alcohol base hand sanitiser.
“As an agency saddled with the responsibility of hand washing and personal hygiene, we are working in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Rivers State Ministry of Health in order to carry out adequate advocacy and sensitisation to the communities on the inherent dangers of COVID-19,” Adah said.
He further commended the Rivers State Governor, Barr. Nyesom Wike for his effective leadership to curb the spread of the virus in Rivers State.
According to him, there are several committees set up by the Governor to create adequate awareness in the area of COVID-19. This, he said has invariably made the state to be Coronavirus free.
The RUWASSA boss, who is also an environmental disaster risk management expert, noted that the agency in collaboration with UNICEF is currently working out modalities to provide automatic hand washing facilities to the various LGAs of Rivers State.

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