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.