Prevention of Communicable Diseases
Prevention of Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak in Nigeria
The viral Ebola disease outbreak was reported in Nigeria on the 20th of July 2014 (Fasina et al., 2014). Nigeria was among other West African countries that were encompassed by the same outbreak. The Ebola Virus spread so fast among these countries majorly because they had never experienced an Ebola Virus Disease outbreak before and thus were not well prepared to face out the unfamiliar infectious disease. Following this emergent concern, Ebola was declared
A Public Health Emergency of International by The World Health Organization (Check Hayden, 2014). A rapid response team was established by The Lagos State Government to intervene and work a way out of the epidemic.
A lot of community enlightenment had been done months before the outbreak occurred to control the tensions that would build up after Ebola Virus was declared an epidemic. This was done through electronic and print media such as the radio and television interviews were the major highlight was on environmental and hand hygiene. Social media, short messaging services were used by an information unit that had been created as communication tools to clear any misconceptions from the population. Across Lagos, the public schools were provided with toilet facilities, water, and hand hygiene kits before they resumed their learning which had been delayed by the state government. After a confirmation of the index case was made, a contact's list was created from the index case made. Some contacts did not show any symptoms of Ebola Virus Disease and therefore from their homes follow up was conducted as they were non-contagious. The people who were living around the Lagos State Government hospital were worried of contamination as a result of Ebola Virus Disease victim's body cremation, but through the awareness made in the community, these fears were dispelled.
This was considered to report the new infectious disease cases at the earliest stage possible as well as to intervene to reduce the infection’s risk of spreading among the population. Screening programs were run to recognize infected individuals and the patients diagnosed with Ebola Virus Disease were taken to a hospital facility that had been turned into an Ebola treatment center after the outbreak had been reported.
This benefits both the community and the patient by improving the patient’s quality of life through medical attention to prevent the worst outcomes. Tertiary prevention has a limited impact on the spread of infectious disease.
There were instances of children whose parents were patients and died from Ebola Virus Disease being drawn away from their homes because of stigma. New homes were provided to such children. They were also taken back to school. The Lagos State government gave Ebola Virus Disease survivors who had suffered infection or were affected some monetary incentives as compensation for job loss. Their families and themselves were too offered psychosocial and counseling support.
Check Hayden, E. (2014). Ebola declared a public-health emergency. Nature. doi: 10.1038/nature.2014.15689
Fasina, F., Shittu, A., Lazarus, D., Tomori, O., Simonsen, L., Viboud, C., & Chowell, G. (2014). Transmission dynamics and control of Ebola virus disease outbreak in Nigeria, July to September 2014. Eurosurveillance, 19(40). doi: 10.2807/1560-7917.es2014.19.40.20920
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