Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, on Friday paid an early morning inspection visit to the Isolation Ward prepared by the State Government for patients with symptoms of the Ebola Virus Disease, saying the facility is now set up and ready to use.
Mr Fashola who spoke in an interview with newsmen after inspecting some of the facilities at the Ward alongside the Commissioners for Health, Dr Jide Idris; Special Duties, Dr Wale Ahmed, and Special Adviser on Public Health, Dr Yewande Adeshina, added that he was also there to see the environment in which the health workers handling the situation were working and the level of preparation that they have and their level of protection.
According to the Governor, part of what informed his visiting the centre was because the State has a health challenge on her hands and the administration was concerned about the people in terms of their wellbeing and for the people who have taken leadership to help in containing it.
The Governor who interacted with some of the health workers met on ground expressed appreciation for the work they are doing.
Fashola who also expressed delight at the report that the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has called off its industrial action expressed the optimism that the members would come and sign up in the battle against the disease.
He emphasised that Ebola as devastating as its consequences can be is not an automatic death sentence, explaining that the consequences of death would depend on what is done and what is not done.
He stressed that there are already reported cases of patients who are recovering in other parts of West Africa and that the issue is about being able to respond to it appropriately and taking precaution.
“We are also taking precaution and that is also why we did not go into where the patients are because there is a very strict protocol for going there, so if you are going there, you must wear a fully protected gown,” the Governor said.
Fashola also said provisions have already been made so that there can be a separation of very critically ill people from people who are just showing symptoms but who need to be in isolation, adding that it is a very methodical process.
He reiterated his appeal to Lagosians and Nigerians that if they suspect anybody showing symptoms they should let the person report in the hospital in Yaba which is the Infectious Diseases Centre.
Fashola also used the opportunity to appeal to private hospitals to develop a first line of defence now such that if patients are turned in sick, the hospitals must assume and begin to take protection right from entry.
“They must isolate because we cannot do this alone. People are going to go to them sometimes before they are referred to us, so they must take the same precaution and defence and create isolation wards in their hospitals now for people they suspect might have the disease. Monitor, if they are all cleared, discharge and if they are not cleared, let us know immediately so that we can either come and pick or you move to us,” the Governor concluded.