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Ebola Virus: Apapa Port Health embarks on preventive measures

As anxiety continues to mount on the dreaded Ebola Virus Disease,
(EVD), the Apapa Port Health Unit yesterday organised a one day programme on
preventive measure for the people having business to do at Apapa Seaport.
Stakeholders present at the awareness programme include officers
of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Immigration, the Port Police Command
representatives, and staff of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), freight
forwarders and general public.

Speaking at sensitisation programme, the Chief Environmental
Health Officer (CEHO) Dr A.A. Olokodana raised the alarm that people at high risk are
Port Health workers who have first contact with crews/passengers, family
members of infected victims/patients, individual who nurse and care for
victims/patients, individuals who make contact with the infected dead body and
shipping agents/ports workers.

The medical practitioner urged the participants to work together
and ensure optimisation of safety and hygiene in the work place, home and
immediate environment.

He also advised chief medical officers to make adequate
arrangements with the local waste management agencies in their respective
locations for decontamination appropriate disposal of waste.
Olokodana said Ebola Virus was introduced into human population
through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids
of infected animals.

“In Africa, infection has been documented through the handling of
infected chimpanzees, gorillas, fruits bats, monkeys, forest antelope and
porcupines found ill or dead or in rainforest”, he said.

To prevent infection, Olokodana urged ports workers to avoid
contact with the bodily fluids of infected persons, by wearing personal
preventive equipment such as surgical/industrial gloves, face mask, gowns, and
goggle, boot or rubber shoes, vividly observing protocol for handling suspected
patients, frequent hand washing with water and soap as well as use of hand sanitisers.
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