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Published On: Wed, Sep 10th, 2014

Schools resumption: FG guarantees protection of students against Ebola

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The Federal of Ministry of Education says adequate measures are in place to guard against the spread of Ebola Virus Disease in schools ahead of the Sept. 22 resumption date.

The Special Adviser, Media to the Minister of Education, Mr Nnamdi Olebara, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja yesterday.

According to him, the ministry is conscious of the danger of allowing one infected student to mix with other students.

“Commissioners for Information have been directed to ensure that there should be desk information officers in the states to communicate with the Federal Ministry of Education on Ebola.

“Because once one student contacts it, it will surely spread.

“There should be good toilets and water facilities in primary and secondary schools such that school children can wash their hands on running tap.

“Even if there is no borehole there, general purpose tanks could be provided.

“The ministry has also directed on the training of two members of staff of each school on ways of handling Ebola.

“There should be a network to train more people in the education sector in alliance with the health sector; so, the health ministries in the various states will partner with schools to ensure awareness,’’ he said.

He said that every state had also been directed to provide schools with thermometers to check temperature of students before allowing them into schools.

The special adviser said that some schools had already procured thermometers while others were expected to get the instrument before the Sept. 22.

On schools located at interior areas, Olebara said that such schools were covered by the arrangements.

According to him, such schools will also all have two training officers who will link up with the desk officer at the state level and will be monitored.

Olebara said the ministry would re-introduce the school health programme to ensure proper hygiene in schools even after the Ebola menace.

“The ministry is insisting on the reviewing of school health programme/hygiene; it entails having first aid boxes and hygiene rules which will go beyond Ebola.

“The old process of checking students fingernails, hairs, teeth, neatness, among others will be brought back to ensure proper hygiene in schools,’’ he said.

He said that the ministry would establish Ebola Rapid Response teams in the states before reopening of schools, and appealed for the support of all stakeholders in enforcing the measures.

The Federal Government had earlier announced Oct. 12as resumption date for schools, but later reversed it to Sept. 22.

However, some Nigerians have raised concerns over the new resumption date as they say adequate mechanism for protection against Ebola should be put in place before reopening the schools. (NAN)


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