By MABEL JIMOH
IT was said that the deadly tropical disease called Ebola Virus once came to Nigeria, following the outbreak in Lagos in July, 2014, by a Liberian – American, Patrick Sawyer, who came into the country with the virus which killed more than 4 persons, leaving a good number quarantined in the isolation centres across the country.
Ebola which is said to be a viral disease, a living organism that depends on its host to survive, is said to have been in existence since 1976, and the carriers of this deadly virus are said to be bats, chimpanzee, antelopes, porcupines, rats and swines,.
Ebola Virus, as we are made to understand, is transmitted to humans through consumption of infected primate (bush meat) as stated earlier and it is only transmitted from human to human by physical contact with infected person(s), showing signs and symptoms or acutely ill from the virus through contact with body fluids such as sweat, urine, saliva and blood.
Now, the question is; where was this Ebola Virus all this while? Why the sudden outbreak? What are the measures put in place to halt the spread of this virus? After the WHO’s declaration that Nigeria is free, what more? All these boils down to one solution which is the need for government to continue to educate the populace on this dreaded disease which has no cure yet.
Despite, the presence of Zmapp which is yet at an experimental stage, there is need for our beloved country to move ahead, despite being certified free by the WHO. We can start from the rural areas, since they are limited or short of basic amenities, up to the urban dwellers of course, which is not new to them, with enlightenment campaign of the Ebola virus which has bedeviled Nigeria, and the West Africa Nation, and has crippled our daily living even as Nigerians.
All Nigerians know how Ebola Virus found its way into our dear country however, I believe some rural dwellers are still not aware of this deadly virus out of ignorance due to some factors and myth, and as such, a well planned public enlightenment (education) program should be put in place to help create awareness and also educating the people (rural areas especially) on how to stay safe until a known cure for this deadly virus is found and also to halt the spread of the disease further from other countries where it may still be found.
However, it is really sad and rather unfortunate that Ebola Virus has exposed the poor state of our personal hygiene as Africans, thus, the advice to use sanitizers or wash hands with soap frequently since Ebola disease can be killed by contact with soap, that shows how weak the virus is.
And secondly, the fear of Ebola can make people who suffer epilepsy, convulsion or asthma die without attention from people around, from the fear of Ebola, everyone is scared to contract such a disease. People are overreacting even in public places as if Ebola would jump into ones sleeves when precautionary measures are followed.
Ebola which fever and headache in early stages but can lead to heamorrage, liver and kidney failure in later stages, and since the disease kills its victims in days unlike Aids, tuberculosis, cancer and so on, the local, state and federal government need to rise to this call and save the nation. This call is not sorely for those in government, it is also individual task and fight for survival; one can enlighten his/her family members, friends, colleague, neighbours even in social and religious places which of course, some have stared doing that.
Even as though, no cure or vaccine have been found to cure the Ebola Virus, the federal government shouldn’t be in a haste to accept drugs once its tagged; “cure for Ebola” thank God the rumoured colloidal or Nano silver as a cure for Ebola was tested and proven not suitable in humans but good as insecticide and that when used on human it may lead to a condition called Argyria. And so, I want to appeal to the federal government and the medical practitioners to put all hands on deck and make sure that this Ebola issue is not politicize like the issue of the Chibok girls, which we are still on but they should earnestly fight to kick Ebola out of our beloved country Nigeria so that things can return back to normal for the common good of everyone.