From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna
The Niger state government has said that there is no reported outbreak of the Ebola disease in any part of the state, as according to him, the government has taken more pro-active measures to ensure the dreaded disease, which has so far claimed 7 lives in parts of the country, did not gain entry into the state.
The state commissioner for Health, Hajiya Hadiza Abdullahi made the disclosure at a post-Exco press briefing in Minna yesterday, saying that government is already creating awareness among the people to ensure the disease did not enter the state, in addition to the establishment of a quarantine center in Minna, while two more centers will be established in the 2 other senatorial districts.
She noted that the government has already commenced sensitization of Muslim clerics across the state on the steps to take in the event of a Muslim patient dying as a result of infection by the disease, explaining that the mode of burial of an Ebola victim as accepted by the Holy Quran was being taught the clerics.
The commissioner intimated that part of the sensitization of the public is the introduction of special radio and television programmes, whereby the public will be able to contact experts for information on how to manage the disease, even as government has commenced negotiation with some telecommunication service providers on how to get toll-free lines for usage by the people.
Abdullahi said that the general hospitals in Minna and other local government areas will be used as isolation wards for patients because the hospitals have detached areas that can be used for such projects.
According to the Commissioner the government has set up a committee, which has prepared a N400 million budget for the containment of the disease, adding that part of the amount is to be used for the completion of work on the buildings earmarked for the quarantine centers as well as their furnishing.
In another development, Hajiya Abdullahi disclosed that the state government has awarded contract worth N122 million for the purchase of a CT-scan machine, to be installed at the IBB Specialist Hospital.
She said government has also awarded another N33.7 million for the re-roofing and fencing of the Minna Social Rehabilitation Centre.