[NIGERIA] Ebola: South West Governors Meet, Seek Co-operation With FG, Others

To tackle likely spread of Ebola, governors of South-West met in Lagos yesterday. They were hosted by Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN). Health commissioners from the states were also in attendance.

Speaking with journalists after the meeting, the governors agreed that they need a collective effort to tackle the scourge just as they appealed to the Nige­rian Medical Association (NMA) to call off their 35-day old strike for he sake of their Hippocratic Oath.

Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun said there was the need to tighten security at the borders as the states lack capacity to check influx of foreigners.

He said: “Two weeks ago, the NMA was observing its week and I did mention that Ogun and some other states have all these illegal borders. “We are more prone and more at risk really in this Ebola virus than so many others. I did mention that we have put all our security agencies and the respective medics at these illegal borders.

“But when you have in excess of 100, you and I know that the state doesn’t have the capacity really in manning these borders. Indeed, it’s not our responsi­bility in manning these borders, we should collaborate with the Federal Government which is what we are doing. As at the last count, we have about 70 (illegal borders) that can take containers and trailers. Even on a normal day, people hardly use the official borders, it’s the illegal ones that you see them parking all those smuggled cars and now it becomes more worrisome by the time you look at the fact that everybody now is taking proactive measure of banning flights.

“So, if people cannot fly, you know obviously they would find a way of entering the country, that is why we are calling on the Federal Government to assist us. We weed men and materials to man those borders. As we speak, we have about 68 Hilux vans manning those borders and not just vehicles, he said.

Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, said this is the time for us to tighten our borders. There is no question about the fact that manning the borders is the responsibility of every Nigerian and everybody should know that those who aid and abet illegal entry into Nigeria now could be up to something that could be dangerous to the health of the country,

“So we out there, all Nigerians and adjoining villag­es, everybody must take responsibility of combating this new challenges as a nation and it’s very important for the message to go out,” he said.

Governor Fashola allayed the fears. He said: “A lot is being done in collaboration with the Federal Government and people should not panic.

“We have set up information centres to educate on how the disease is spread. It’s not airborne, it can only be spread through contact with body fluids. We have set up isolation centres,” he said.

On the drugs said to have been discovered in the United States, Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fay­emi, said they are on top of the issue. He said: “It was one of the things that we reflected on in our meeting. We have heard that there is a test drug that is currently being applied to the doctor who was taken from Liberia to Emory University Hospital in the USA. He is being treated there. It has some impact on his im­provement. But this is still a drug that is on trial. From what we gathered, it had been tested on animals, but it has not been tested on humans yet, except for this particular case and there are processes a country has to go through to procure drugs that are still on trial.

“Even the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has not certified this drug for use yet, and if we are going to access it at all, my own limited knowledge of this process is that it can only be a controlled trial centre for it at this stage, it can’t be a certified drug for use. If what the Federal Government is trying to do is to be one of the centres to test the efficacy of the drug, I think that is well-meaning, that is commendable and we should encourage the Federal Government to take that action,” he said.

Source: The Sun
South-West 6819627525469967470

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