The State Government of Osun, on Tuesday September 16, 2014, called on religious leaders across the state to brace up to the health challenges posed by the importation of the Ebola virus into the country in order to be averted from being spread into the state.
The State Government, through its Committee on Ebola, set up to prevent the virus from spreading into the state said religious leaders have vital roles to play towards ensuring that the dreaded disease does not rear its head in the state.
Addressing the participants who cut across the three religions consist of Muslims, Christians and Traditionalists during the sensitization, organized by the Committee, the State Commissioner of Environment and Sanitation, Professor Olubukola Oyawoye advised them to be conscious of the pandemic by observing personal hygiene at all time.
Oyawoye who acknowledged the roles religious leaders are playing in the development of any society said, they should complement the effort of the state government toward making the state an Ebola free state.
Emphasizing the efficacy of prayer, Oyawoye said people of the state should be more prayerful, just as she said promptly reporting of cases of observable symptoms to health officials was of the utmost important.
Commissioner for Health, Dr Mrs Temitope Ilori while echoing a similar view said the current epidemic, which has taken the center stage in the country and some other African countries, requires adequate and consistent sensitization.
Ilori urged religious leaders to adequately sensitize their people on the need for them to be proactive and strengthen environmental health in their immediate domain.
Ilori said, though, the state had not recorded any cases of Ebola since its outbreak in the country, the state government under leadership of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola inaugurated the committee saddled with the responsibility to work on how to prevent the spread of the disease in the state.
She urged the participants and the entire people of the state to be more proactive in terms of environmental hygiene since the disease could easily be transmitted through the body fluid of an infected person
While Talking about “Ebola Virus infection and prevention”, Dr Kayode Oguniyi, Director of Primary Health Care and Disease Control, Ministry of Health, State of Osun, said there is need for all and sundry to be up and doing in terms of environmental hygiene.
Oguniyi explained that, Ebola hemorrhagic fever was first noted in Zaire, currently, the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1976 when the original outbreak was in a village near the Ebola River after which the disease was name.
He added that, the virus was identified in person-to-person contact transmission, stressing that out of the 318 patients diagnosed with Ebola, 88 percent died, saying that, since that time there have been multiple outbreak of the virus in that country.
Oguniyi who corroborated the two commissioners, also laid emphasis on the earlier symptoms of Ebola which according to him were typically include, fever, severe headache, muscle pain, diarrhea, vomiting, abnormal pain among others.
He added that, the symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola virus, saying, though 8-10 days is most common.
He therefore charged people on the need for them to heed to medical advises given to them in order not to fall victim of the viral disease.
Responding to the sensitization programme, the representatives of the religious groups, Chief Folaba Fagbongbe, Rev Testimony Oriade, Chief Atanda Awofisade Abegunsola, Chief Adifase of Ife, the Naibu Imam of Osogbo among others eulogized the state government for organizing such an enlighten programme, saying Aregbesola deserves commendation over his efforts at making state inhabitable for all.
The highlight of the event was the demonstration of hand washing led by the commissioner of environment, and her co commissioner from the ministry of health, which was later demonstrated by one of the participants.