• Sunday, February 25, 2024
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BusinessDay

Tackling the spread of Ebola Virus in Nigeria: Health tips

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In response to the recent news that the Ebola virus has made its entry into Port Harcourt with the reported death of a doctor suspected to have the deadly virus, Bulwark Services Limited, a leading Oil service company operating in Port Harcourt has released some vital health tips from her HSE department with the aim of further sensitizing the Nigerian populace, particularly the people of  Rivers State, to various practical ways to keep Ebola at bay. These safety tips have been made available to the general populace by Bulwark Services Limited, as a community development effort to improve health/sanitary awareness and reduce the spread of this deadly disease.

Our HSE team has extensively studied the whole incident of Ebola outbreak both in Nigeria and other countries as well as gained a working knowledge of how the disease is spread in order to prepare health tips for the average Nigerian based on who we are and how we live. These tips if applied will go a long was to reduce you interaction to the disease thereby keeping you as safe as humanly possible.

FOR COMPANIES, CHURCHES, SCHOOLS, MEDICAL FACILITIES, CLUBS, BUSINESS PREMISES

Provide hand sanitizers at all main entrances and ensure that all persons entering the building/facility must  make use of the hand sanitizers provided at the entrance before entry Into the building.

Staff/workers should be provided with hand sanitizers all around the office for continuous use all through the working day. Sterilized wipes and powerful antibacterial hand wash should also be provided in all conveniences with hand dryers for better sterilization. Also door handles, staircase railings and public surfaces should be wiped clean with a powerful disinfectant wipe/sanitizer as often as possible all through the day.

Company HSE officers/medics can check staff/visitors body temperature daily at the resumption of duty/on entry with a digital thermometer to detect any unexplained rise in body temperature suggestive of Ebola.

People are generally advised to avoid unnecessary hand contact at this time. Make more use of elbows and wrists to open doors or for any unavoidable person to person contact. If hand contact is unavoidable such as in a handshake, wash hands with soap or use a hand sanitizer/sterilized wipes immediately after any such contact. Ebola is serious! This is no time for social graces. Protect yourself. Be wise!

Ensure that any wounds, skin breaks or lacerations on the hands are properly covered. If left exposed such cuts or wounds can increase exposure to infection as any contact with contaminated body fluids or substances will mean immediate infection through the broken skin or cuts.

Keep a clean handkerchief or firm disposable tissue available at all times to clean eyes, nostrils, mouth etc. Avoid unnecessary contact between your mouth and vital body parts whilst in public. Avoid using hands to pick at your nostrils or to clear blocked nostrils. Avoid nail biting. Wash hands before and  after meals.

Wash and sterilize hands as soon as you get home to avoid spreading any deadly fluids you may have come into contact with. Keep hand sterilizers at your home entrance and make it mandatory for all persons entering  to sterilize their hands to create a sterilized environment in your home and thus reduce possible spread of disease. Make your home Ebola free!

Avoid eating poorly cooked foods from unsterilized eateries or food outlets. Food vendors and any fast food that gets into the mouth suddenly with proper hygiene considerations should be strictly avoided. Even if you buy food ensure it is well reheated to kill any virus and reduce chances of contamination. All food should be well cooked to avoid contamination.

WHILST AT HOME

You can go a step further by using disposable hand gloves when handling raw meat in the kitchen to avoid contact with animal fluids and blood. Once this vital contact is avoided and food is well cook, chances of acquiring the virus from food is greatly reduced.

People are advised as much as possible to go home after work and reduce social contact to the barest minimum until this virus is brought under full control.

Teach your families and loved ones all these simple but effective hygiene measures that can save lives.

Take the message of proper and constant sanitation home and let’s keep Nigeria safe from Ebola.

Keep babies and small children safe. Sterilizing their hands often will help as they tend to pick things and put their hands in their mouths all the time.

Avoid visitors and even other house members kissing babies and small children on the mouth or any other interaction that can allow an uncontrolled exchange of body fluids.

Sterilize yourself and every household utensil you intend to use to prepare food for babies and small children, Their immunities are more fragile and highly susceptible to disease and infections so be careful even with their toys and whatever they come into contact with,

Mothers with babies should be particularly careful to maintain proper hygiene as Ebola can be transferred through breast milk from a mother to a child.

WHILST IN CHURCH/MOSQUE/WEDDING/RECEPTIONS/PARTIES

Be health conscious. Don’t get carried away and forget to take precautions. Exchanging body fluids indiscriminately can be deadly.

Keep hands away from vital body organs through which fluids can be transferred.

Wash your hands thoroughly with a good disinfectant soap before you eat for proper sanitization.

Avoid sharing foods/drinks in public. Please don’t share your handkerchief; if you lend it to someone don’t take it back. You could be saving your life.

Avoid allowing people handle babies and small children indiscriminately whilst in public places. A child minder with poor health awareness can exchange body fluids with your children and if infected, they can in turn introduce the infection to the entire household.

WHILST IN SCHOOL

Hygiene! Hygiene! hygiene!

Wash hands as often as possible and bear in mind all the other tips above.

All students can and should sterilize their hands before entering the classroom for the day and in the case of school assembly, sterilize as you enter the auditorium.

Students should be encouraged to exercise proper hygiene after using the conveniences, after sporting activities,  as well as when they have a running nose or a bleeding wound.

All direct contact with the body fluids of another person should be strictly avoided. Fluid transfer is almost impossible to control but we can at least try to reduce such unnecessary body interactions that allow fluid transfer.

FOR THOSE HANGING OUT,

Be wise! Getting intimate with an unknown person can be fatal with Ebola in Nigeria!

Saliva and semen are body fluids that can and will be exchanged during intimate/sexual contacts. These are also body fluids which can carry the virus from one person to another.

Ebola can be even be spread through the semen of a man after he has been cured and free from the disease for up to two months.

Be wise!

Lucky Awobasivwe