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Lagos State Government Makes Health Facilities Available In Preparation For October 8

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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 on Monday.

Many students of private primary and secondary schools in Lagos on Monday reported to start a new academic session in spite of resumption postponement.

The state Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, on Sunday announced October 8 as the new resumption date.

Governor Fashola made the announcement at an interactive session with head teachers and principals of public primary and secondary schools, in Ikeja.

The governor had before then directed all schools in the state to resume on Sept. 22 as announced by the Federal Government. However, following a strike threat by the Nigeria Union of Teachers, Fashola called for the interaction. He directed teachers to be going to school from Sept. 22 to prepare for resumption of academic activities on Oct. 8.

Correspondents of NAN who monitored developments in schools in the state, report that few pupils reported at many private schools. In all the schools visited, academic activities did not take place. Private school proprietors said that parents were confused about the resumption.

Mrs Gladys Grimmes, Proprietress of St. Gladys and Grimmes Educational Services, Alagbado, said that most parents were confused after the latest announcement on the resumption. She said that the poor turn out was not as a result of fear of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) since preventive measures have been adequately provided for pupils and teachers in the school. At the Living Christ Schools, Community road, Alagbado, few pupils also reported for classes. The Head teacher, Mrs Abiola Olaoye also claimed that parents were confused. Mrs Felicia Ejisu, Head teacher of Divine Penniel Schools, Nureni Akintola Crescent, Alagbado, said the school was ready for resumption but most parents did not release their children following the change in resumption date. She said that preventive measures against EVD had been put in place by the school.

However, some schools visited by NAN correspondents did not put in place any measures to contain the disease, even as poor sanitation was also observed in some of the schools, especially some of those private schools where candidates are writing the November/December West African Senior School Certificate Examinations.

Meanwhile the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), Lagos state chapter, has called on schools yet to put in place necessary measures to do so before Oct. 8. The NAPPS chairman, Chief Yomi Otubela told NAN that the extension of the resumption date should enable all schools to be prepared.

At Rozban Children Foundation Schools, Fatolu Ipaja, the proprietress, Mrs R.I. Kumoye, said all preventive materials against the spread of the disease were in place. She said that the school had complied with all the directives given by the government on Ebola containment. A security guard at the entrance wore hand gloves and was using infrared thermometer to check temperature of visitors before allowing them in.

Yewabde Adeshina, special adviser to the state Governor on Public Health, at a sensitization 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 Centers if the need to refer students arises.

Adeshina noted that the thermo scans were produced 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 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.

She said "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.

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Godwin Ibe

Medical Doctor (GP), IT professional, Web Designer, CELTA Certified Teacher of English, Economist and International Trade Marketer.

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