Nigeria trains 800 volunteers to fight Ebola
Nigeria has trained 800 volunteers to help fight the deadly Ebola epidemic that has already claimed four lives in Africa’s most populous country, a regional governor spokesperson said on Saturday.
Authorities in the country’s largest city of Lagos last week appealed for volunteers to make up for a shortage of medical personnel because of a six- week doctors’ strike over pay.
“People have heeded our call for service,” said Hakeem Bello, a spokesperson for Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola.
“We have trained about 800 volunteers in the area of contact tracing, sensitisation and treatment of the Ebola disease.”
Four people have died and six more infected by Ebola in Nigeria as part of the worst-ever outbreak of the deadly virus, which has killed 1 145 people across west Africa since the outbreak began this year.
Volunteers have so far been deployed to 57 districts of Nigeria, Bello said, adding that more are needed to contain the outbreak, particularly to treat those infected with the disease.
The doctors have been on strike nationwide since 1 July to demand a pay rise and better working conditions.
In response, Lagos’ state government has stepped up a media campaign to raise awareness of how to prevent the spread of the disease, including across radio, television and public health announcements.
Athletes from Nigeria have been forced to withdraw from the Youth Olympics in China as a result of the outbreak, Chinese state media reported on Saturday.
The International Olympic Committee has barred athletes from Ebola-hit countries from competing in pool events and combat sports.
The disease is spread by contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids suchas sweat, blood and tissue and no cure or vaccine is currently available.
The last days of an Ebola victim can be grim, characterised by agonising
muscular pain, vomiting, diarrhoea and catastrophic haemorrhaging described
as “bleeding out” as vital organs break down.