Medical experts caution airport workers

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In Nigeria
Aug 18th, 2014
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Medical experts in the aviation sector have said the panic associated with Ebola Virus Disease is more dangerous than the disease itself.

They urged airport workers and passengers to comply with measures rolled out by the authorities to contain the spread of the disease.

The medical experts spoke at a sensitisation seminar on Ebola organised by the Women in Aviation at the international wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos at the weekend.

Speaking at the forum, the Acting General Manager, Aviation Clinic, Dr Olawale Oduwole, said since the outbreak of the disease, Nigerians have been taking steps to ensure that they don’t contact the Ebola Virus Disease.

He said Nigerians were taking extra caution because of the deadly nature of the disease, which kills its victims at a short period.

In his view, the panic associated with the disease is much more dangerous than the Ebola virus itself.

Oduwole said that because of the outbreak of EVD, people no longer talk about malaria, which, according to him, kills over 1000 people daily.

He said: “Malaria kills over 1000 people daily, yet we are not talking about it. We talk about Ebola because we know that Ebola is very dangerous and because the chances of the victim of the Ebola virus I surviving is very slim.”

An official of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Dr Wilfred Haggai, said the agency  issued directives to airlines on the measures to ensure that carriers of the virus are not brought into the country.

There are penalties for disobeying the directive. Some airlines have been penalised.

Haggai advised participants at the seminar to sensitise their friends, neighbours, church members, colleagues and enemies on the disease to further create awareness about it.

President of Women in Aviation Mrs Rejoice Ndudinachi said the group decided to embark on the sensitisation seminar due to the dangerous nature of the disease that has killed over 1000 people globally.

An official of the Public Health Consultant, Nigeria Air Force (NAF), Dr Esther Omokhuede, described Ebola as an emerging disease.

He advised that because of the deadly nature of the disease and coupled with the fact that it has no vaccine and no specific treatment, Nigerians must be cautious by ensuring that they observe a high level of personal hygiene by washing their hands with soap and water thoroughly frequently, especially when they visit the sick or when they come in contact with body secretions of such persons.

When there is no soap or water, a sanitiser must be used. The virus can survive in semen for 61 days.

Omokhuede called for the stoppage of the consumption of raw meat and bush meat, to curb the spread of the disease.

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