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Ebola: NMA Disagrees with FG Over Schools' Resumption Date

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The Nigerian Medical Association disagrees with the decision of the Federal Government for schools to resume on 22 September as against 12 October.

The Lagos NMA chairman, Doctor Tope Ojo, who spoke to a correspondent of the PUNCH newspaper in Lagos on Monday said the Federal Government should postpone the resumption date till when active surveillance and monitoring of contacts in some states were over. He noted that many schools are not yet equipped with the facilities that could help check the spread of the virus among the children, should any of them have any contact with those being monitored. he said "it would not have cost the Federal Government anything to have waited till those under surveillance have completed the 21 days in all the states where they are being monitored". He added that it takes longer for children to get used to the idea of hygiene and sanitation, and that they are even more vulnerable because they would play with each other whether they are sick or not.

"How many children know that they should use hand sanitizers or avoid contact with anybody that has fever? Waiting till October, when at least the situation in Rivers and Lagos States have been conclusively managed is another safety measure they should have taken. These kids are not studying to get a degree, so i'm sure it would not have affected the school's curriculum".

The former Lagos NMA chairman, Prof Edamisan Temiye called on the three tiers of government to ensure that schools had access to water on their premises. He also warned parents not to force their kids to go to school when they are ill. He advised them not to give them drugs and force them to school. He noted that Ebola can only be caught from a sick person. He also advised school authorities to watch out for sick kids and isolate them, and take them to the hospital for proper treatment.

The immediate president of the NMA, Dr. Esahon Enabulele expressed his worry about the resumption date set by the government.  He advised that the Federal Government of Nigeria should check the schools to see if they have the required facilities to contain the spread of the deadly virus. Facilities such as a good sick bay and other sanitary facilities that meet a particular standard. He also advised that the Federal Government should prevent those schools that do not have the necessary facilities from opening.

Meanwhile, Chinyere, the sister to the late doctor Ikechukwu Enemuo has been declared Ebola negative. It was announced by the Minister of Health. This was confirmed by Parker, the Rivers state commissioner for health. It was reported that she no longer exhibits the symptoms and is undergoing a series of tests in preparation for her discharge from the isolation ward.

The Minister of Health revealed that the total number of deaths from EVD so far stands at seven, including the index case.

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