Bayelsa State Government has taken its campaigns against Ebola virus disease (EVD) to corps members at the Kaiama Orientation Camp of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), warning corps members against making contacts with persons that show symptoms of the disease.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Ayibatonye Owei, who led members of the state’s Anti-Ebola Task Force to the camp on Friday, appealed to the corps members to be vigilant.
He asked them to look out for persons showing symptoms of the disease and avoid contacts with them.
Explaining the Ebola virus and its deadly nature, the commissioner asked the youths to join other Nigerians in fighting the disease like a wounded lion.
He told the corps members that all Nigerians that had shown symptoms of the disease were persons who had direct contacts with the late Liberian-American, Patrick Sawyer.
He, however, said the fear of Ebola should not affect interpersonal relationship among the corps members since the virus could only be transmitted by persons that show its symptoms.
“It can only be transmitted from a sick person to a healthy person. It is one of the conditions that can easily be prevented. When the person is not sick, he is incapable of transmitting it,” he said.
He said corps members must avoid secretions of sick persons and maintain high level of personal hygiene.
He said the task force had distributed sanitisers, washing soap and water across the camp and appealed to the youths to wash their hands from time to time.
“We are not saying that you shouldn’t shake hands, but don’t do it with sick people. Don’t eat bush meat because some of them are carriers. Ensure that any meat you eat is well cooked,” he said.
He said the National Council of Health had cancelled the movement of dead bodies from one place to another.
Describing the corps members as the foot soldiers, he asked them to carry Ebola message to other parts of the state.
Earlier, the State Coordinator, NYSC, Mr. Ekeocha Anthony, told the corps members that the Ebola virus was deadlier than HIV/AIDS.
“We know what is in vogue now. We know the disease that is in the air, which is more severe than the HIV/AIDS. This is the reason why the commissioner has come to sensitise us,” he said.
Meanwhile, Owei in a separate event said the Bayelsa State Government had taken delivery of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Speaking while declaring open a one-day training and sensitisation workshop for about 300 health and medical personnel in Yenagoa on Friday, he insisted that the government was ready for Ebola.
He said: “The government has provided enough funds and we have just taken delivery of personal protective equipment.”
He said the trainees were expected to go to the various local government areas and train other health personnel and community people.