Monday, 25 August 2014
Updates on Ebola from Nigeria
I made a short trip to Nigeria last week.
It was such a short trip, I'm still trying to come to terms with the fact that I am back in the UK already. While in Nigeria, I noticed some very vivid active efforts in the fight against Ebola. I strongly believe Ebola will be successfully contained in Nigeria if these efforts are sustained. As a matter of fact, if this was put in place a few months ago, we wouldn't have had to deal with it in the first place.
I saw information pamphlets, posters, Ebola information specialists, I was so impressed.
I was traveling all the way to Akwa Ibom state. It was interesting to see health care professionals screening travelers even at the local airport there.
However, I must mention that it was evident that most people were not well informed, even the airport staffs. What was common was people with hand gloves. I saw an officer from FMOH walk around with a pack of hand gloves which he distributed to the people working at the airport. It was obvious they needed them to try to protect themselves and not worry so much about the spread because they never bothered to switch the gloves. They made an even worse mistake of touching their personal belongings, including their phones with the same gloves, which I'm sure they would just pull and continue to touch the same phones with their bare hands later on. What was the gloves supposed to protect if you used your hypothetically contaminated hands to touch the same things that you will touch with your clean hands later?
I also saw at least five travelers who did this.
For instance, there was this lady I spotted right from the point when we arrived the airport wearing a pair gloves. She wore it to repack her box because she had excess luggage and only pulled it when we boarded the plane. I thought if she was using gloves, she should have at least pulled it while trying to repack her box and used another pair when she was done repacking and not use the same one through out. I also thought all those staffs that were using one pair the whole day at the airport should have had one pack each at their desks, where they could easily switch the gloves at will. I think having sanitizers on their desks was also necessary. It is more effective to use it routinely.
I saw some people that used sanitizers, but it was mostly those travelers that came in from abroad.
What was also interesting was that most members of the public didn't care or perhaps, were just not well informed on how to care. While travelers at the airports seemed to be conscious of it, most people on the streets were not. At a bank, one of the staffs grabbed money one minute and the next, I saw him pop out a gum to chew with the same hands. Predominantly, people were still grabbing food without bothering to clean their hands properly first.
Please, everyone, it is expedient that you practice hand hygiene techniques, ESP when you need to touch anything that is going to your mouth, nose, eyes and other sensitive parts of the body.
When I went to the airport again on Sunday, I was so happy to see some people from the World Health Organization trying to educate the airport staffs. I hope that this will be history soon.
Keep being cautious everyone, we will win soon.
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