The news of an Ebola outbreak in DR Congo is cause for genuine concern and immediate action. Based on our experience the most recent outbreak of the disease, it’s imperative that our health and immigration authorities begin immediate surveillance and preventive action at the ports and relevant areas.
In 2014, when the news of the Ebola virus broke, we were not as prepared as we would have liked to combat the virus, and it took the sacrifice of Dr. Ameyo Adadevoh and many healthcare professionals at the First Consultants Medical Centre in Lagos to prevent a major outbreak.
However, many lives were lost in Liberia and Sierra Leone, and the experiences from those West African neighbours show just how devastating Ebola could have been if it struck big population centres like our cities of Lagos, Kano, Abuja, Kaduna, Port Harcourt etc.
Based on the many lessons learned from the 2014 Ebola outbreak is critical that immediate surveillance and preventive action be commenced by our healthcare and immigration authorities. We also need to reassemble the team that helped contain Ebola in 2014 and begin proactive drills. Our authorities also need to get in touch with DR Congo authorities and share all the information we have from our experiences, because helping the DRC overcome the challenge is helping ourselves by reducing the chances of the virus spreading.
The ongoing strike by the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) at this time is unfortunate. It is critical that the government and the health workers sit down urgently to resolve the crisis, as all hands will need to be on deck to combat the threat of Ebola.
Awareness and education are the most potent tools for combating the spread of Ebola. Thankfully, some young Nigerians had come together to produce a highly informative material in 2014 for the education of the public on how to deal with Ebola. This material was shared with me in 2014, and I believe it is important to share it again.
I urge everyone to share this material again will all family and friends. Let us work together in vigilance, to prevent another outbreak of this deadly virus.