Stopping further spread of EBOLA: Need for co-operation among stakeholders

The outbreak of the dreaded Ebola virus is something that has brought great fear and anxieties on citizens of affected countries and the world in general especially since it was exported from Liberia to the most populous city in Africa, Lagos, Nigeria. Efforts are still being made to come up with a lasting cure for this disease. Meanwhile, it is very vital for all to co-operate with all efforts geared towards stopping the spread of this disease.
It was reported during the week that an Ebola center was attacked last Saturday in Liberia, which made the Ebola patients to flee for safety. The attackers, it was reported, stole the mattresses and other equipment used for caring for the patients. It was heartwarming though that that despite the attack, some of the patients decided to stay in the Ebola center. These patients must be commended for their cooperation. They obviously recognized the fact that if they run into the town, their action may expose more citizens to the risk of contacting the Ebola virus and this is the right attitude everyone one must imbibe. For the ones that run for their safety, health workers made efforts to locate them.
Also, there have been a lot of rumors and myths surrounding this outbreak. This is also very dangerous. Any one or group of persons spreading falsehood or half truths regarding the Ebola disease is not co-operative with governmental authorities and other stakeholders. Report has it that at least 2 people died from consuming salt after hearing the rumor that salt could cure the Ebola virus. The wise thing should be for all to co-operate with the authorities and follow their direction as to what needs to be done to stop further spread of the disease.
In the religious environment a lot of co-operation is required in the area of passing the right information to worshipers and stopping religious rituals that may increase risk of exposure to the Ebola virus. For example, due to over confidence and over-spirituality some religious people may feel that as far as they are children of God, they curse or ban the Ebola spirit in their lives. For this reason, they may believe that they cannot be infected the virus. This would be very dangerous as such ones need to remember that even when God was with the Isrealites as a nation, he still gave them health, hygiene and safety laws including the ones people have been told to follow during this epidemic.
The comforting thing is that the governmental authorities and other relevant agencies are carrying out various campaigns to ensure that all religious group help to contain the spread of Ebola in affected countries. I was privilege to attend a training organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) in connection with the Ebola epidemic and it was revealed to participants that due to the Ebola virus outbreak the Osun State government has decided that the Osun-Osoogbo festival event will be a low-keyed one for 2014. It has been restricted to only residents of Osun to reduce the crowed and that participants in the festival will not be allowed to deep themselves into the river this year. For the government, this is a step in the right direction. It is however vital for those who will be involved in the festival to co-operation with this direction.
Reporting suspected or real cases of someone infected with the Ebola virus is another area that everyone must be co-operative. Reports have it that for fear of being associated with the Ebola virus, families of an infected loved one may hide the status of the person from the authorities and if the individual dies in the process, the corpse may be secretly buried. This practice exposes those who had contact with the corpse and more people to the Ebola disease. Everyone must be realistic about our beliefs about the Ebola epidemic. Traditions and customs, especially those that may expose individuals to direct contact with dead bodies must be stopped. This is not the time to get overly emotional to the detriment of an individual’s health and that of many others. Corporation is vital. If you suspect any case please report to the authorities.

Written by Desire Obanefe

Desire Obanefe

Desire Egbaoghene Obanefe is a passionate Occupational Safety and Health practitioner, a very experienced First Aid and Emergency Response and Preparedness Instructor, a Public Relations Professional, a Skilled Writer, Professional Administrator with a wealth of experience.

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About Desire Obanefe

Desire Egbaoghene Obanefe is a passionate Occupational Safety and Health practitioner, a very experienced First Aid and Emergency Response and Preparedness Instructor, a Public Relations Professional, a Skilled Writer, Professional Administrator with a wealth of experience.

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