Lagos State Government has distributed thermo scans, a scientific instrument used to measure body temperature to its 1007 Ebola Focal Officers in its public primary schools and 668 Ebola Focal Officers in its public secondary schools as schools resumed for academic exercise in Monday.
Yewande Adeshina, special adviser to the State Governor on Public Health, disclosed this at a sensitisation and enlightenment seminar for the Ebola Focal Officers explained that they will be responsible for surveillance and health monitoring of the disease in each school and interface between Schools and Primary Healthcare Center if the need to refer students arises.
Adeshina noted that the thermo scans were procured by the state government for use of schools in order to check vital signs of students especially body temperature which can signal the commencement of fever.
She added that government also planned to provide public schools which are not connected to the State water supply with water stressing that gloves and liquid soaps for hand washing have also been procured to aid personal and environmental hygiene.
Adeshina noted that mass fear about the disease is harmful stressing that only visibly ill or sick patients that can spread the disease via the direct contact with the broken skin, mucous membranes and secretions of an infected person or through direct contact with materials and surfaces that have been contaminated by an infected person.
Said she, “Lagosians, please remain calm. There is no reason to panic as your government in partnership with the federal government and development partners is resolved and committed to contain the disease”.
While noting that the containment of Ebola is a shared responsibility of all citizens, the Special Adviser implored Ebola Focal Officers to take the issue of personal and environmental hygiene with utmost importance and report any suspicious case of the disease to the appropriate quarters or call the Ebola help line.
Adeshina explained that they have also been provided with guidelines on how to prevent the spread of the disease stressing that one of the goals of the seminar is to enlighten them on what they need to know about Ebola and what should be done on suspicion of the disease.
She reiterated that Ebola infection is not a death sentence as evidenced by the recovery of nine confirmed cases in Lagos who have now been discharged with five of them meeting the State Governor yesterday to recount their ordeal with the disease.
The Special Adviser noted that the common thread amongst the recovered cases remains their early presentation for supportive treatment adding that there is the need to report any suspected case since the earlier they are brought for screening and surveillance, the better the outcome.
She opined that all hands must be on deck in order to get to the home stretch after the last curve is achieved in a very timely fashion having gone this far with the containment measures.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Omolara Erogbogbo recalled that the sensitization of school teachers, principals and head of schools on the Ebola Virus Disease started two weeks ago as part of efforts aimed at preparing schools for resumption.
She expressed confidence in the teachers at ensuring a healthy and safe learning environment for students since teachers are now better informed and educated on the disease.
The seminar and lecture series covered overview on the Ebola Virus Disease, roles and responsibilities of schools, home and children as well as demonstration of hand washing techniques.