- ‘Only one confirmed case left’
By Maryam Garba Hassan & Doyin Ojosipe
Federal government yesterday postponed the resumption date for schools for the 2014/2015 academic year throughout the federation to ensure adequate preventive measures on Ebola Virus are put in place before students return to school.
Minister of education, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, made the announcement yesterday in Abuja at the end of a meeting he held with the Forum of Commissioners of Education in the country.
The extension of the schools resumption date is applicable to all primary and secondary schools both public and private in the country.
This was part of the resolutions reached at the end of the meeting attended by all State Commissioners of education.
The federal government ordered that all summer classes currently going on in private schools in the country should be suspended with immediate effect until all precautionary measures are put in place and the commencement of the new resumption date.
Part of the resolution reached at the meeting also recommended that all ministries of education should immediately organize and ensure that at least two staff in each public and private primary and secondary schools are trained by appropriate health workers on how to handle any suspected case of Ebola. They are also to embark on immediate sensitisation of all teaching and non -teaching staff on preventive measures.
According to the minister, the training of the academic and non-academic staff is expected to be completed no later than 15th of October, 2014.
Shekarau further directed that state ministries of education should provide all primary and secondary schools both private and public with a minimum of two blood pressure measuring equipment.
He said the federal ministry of Education will liaise with the Federal Ministry of Health to ensure that appropriate equipment are procured in good time adding that all the measures shall apply in all unity schools in the country.
The recommendation advised all tertiary institutions to suspend exchange of staff and students programs, visits and major international seminars and workshops till further notice.
He said schools are expected to monitor the movement of foreign students in their campuses and liase with appropriate government health institutions to organize and ensure effective sensitization program for all teaching and non -teaching staff.
The minister enjoined all private and public schools to comply with the directives as failure to do so will amount to sanction by the appropriate law in the states.
Earlier in his presentation, Dr. Sani Gwarzo, representative of Ministry of Health at the meeting and Chairman Sub Committee of Point of Entry, commended the federal government for the measures put in place to combat the spread of the virus in the country.
He said all diagnosis and treatment of the virus were done by Nigerian doctors adding that only few specimen for test were taken to a centre in Senegal.
Meanwhile, Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, has said, as of yesterday, only one Ebola patient remained in isolation in Nigeria, down from the 13 cases the country confirmed since the outbreak of the virus in July.
Chukwu said so far Nigeria has had 13 cases including the index case. Five of those infected died, while seven have successfully recovered and were discharged.
Two of the nurses who managed Mr. Sawyer were discharged Monday at the isolation centre in Lagos, Mr. Chukwu said.
He said Nigeria has been able to curtail Ebola in the country.
All the 129 people who were under surveillance have completed the 21day observation incubation period and only one person was found to be symptomatic and is still being observed, he added.
In his words: “As I speak to you, Nigeria has only one confirmed case of EVD, a secondary contact of Mr. Patrick Sawyer’s and spouse of one of the physicians who participated in the management of the index
case. She is stable but still, on treatment at the isolation ward in Lagos.”
The Project Director, the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC), Professor Abdulsalami Nasidi has said that it could eradicate the deadly disease from Nigeria before September 6, if the effort to contain the disease is sustained, adding that new cases might show up, but could be contained as well.