The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, has called on health care providers and the general public to be vigilant and intensify awareness on the symptoms of haemorrhagic fevers.
The minister’s statement on Saturday follows the announcement by WHO of a confirmed case of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC.
According to a statement released by the Ministry of Health on Saturday, the federal government in response to the WHO announcement directed health officials at the ports to step up inspection activities and to report any sick person or suspects. Such sick persons are to be referred to the chief epidemiologist in the state where there are present and relevant tests conducted.
The minister noted that health care providers and the general public must immediately report any sign of illness to public health officials.
He urged Nigerians not to panic saying the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control is on ground and equipped to secure the health of citizens.
“The agency has for a while now, been strengthening states capacities to detect, manage and respond to hemorrhagic fevers including Lassa fever and symptoms to look out for include; fever, fatigue, weakness dizziness and muscle aches.
“Patients with more severe cases show bleeding under the skin, internal organs or even from bodily orifices like mouth, ears, and the ears,” he added.
The health minister, therefore, directed that all Nigerian health workers should maintain a high index of suspicion by screening all fevers for Ebola. He also charged state health ministries to strengthen their supervision services and escalate any incident appropriately.
He called on states to begin social mobilisation and media awareness efforts via TV, radio, print and social media.
The minister also encouraged members of the public to observe a high level of personal hygiene including regular hand washing and to also report all cases of fever to the nearest health facility.
Nigeria was declared free of Ebola virus by the WHO in October 2014 and the country praised for its handling of the disease which caused about 4,500 deaths across West Africa.