The Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS) has activated her Volunteers across the country for public sensitization on Ebola virus preventive measures.
Secretary General of the NRCS, Bello Hamman Diram said “This is in collaboration with relevant stakeholders.
Bello Hamman Diram, informed that “the Nigeria Red Cross Society, in its auxiliary role to the government, is planning to launch an emergency appeal to deploy 300 volunteers to support Federal and State Governments to curtail the spread of Ebola virus. The response will include provision of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) educational materials, hygiene articles, psychosocial support and dissemination of information.”
Bello Hamman Diram explained that ”In Lagos the NRCS has provided 18 volunteers who have been trained by the incident command centre, WHO, UNICEF and CDC on contact tracing, health promotion, case management and general information dissemination. These Volunteers have since started work.
“Currently, consultation meetings with stakeholders, partners and GSM companies are going on to explore means of creating forceful public awareness like never before to ensure that our people know and do the right thing at any given time”, the Secretary General added.
The head of Health and Care of the NRCS, Dr. Uche Ogba advised that Nigerians should not panic as there have been cases of survivors in the worst affected countries.
“Some people have survived in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone because they heeded to advice and reported to medical facilities. Victims have a better chance to survive if they go for treatment early; however, there is no vaccination yet,” Dr. Uche Ogba explained.
Dr. Ogba further advised that “there should be no hesitation in reporting to the nearest medical facility any symptom of Ebola which may initially include sudden fever, intense weakness, muscle pain and sore throat. This is then followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, and, in some cases both internal and external bleeding.”
Dr. Ogba concluded by saying that “Symptoms are similar to other illnesses such as malaria, therefore if you have these, even if they can be malaria, you should seek medical advice”
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Health delegate, Dr. Samuel Matoka, said that the “Ebola virus is spread between humans through contact with bodily fluids of an infected person-blood, urine, stool, semen, saliva and sweat- or indirectly through contact with contaminated areas, such as soiled clothing or bed linen. Corpses containing the virus are very infectious, making mourners at funerals vulnerable to infection”