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Ebola: NMA urges FG to police borders and ports

01 September 2014, 06:49

Awka - The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has called on the Federal Government to police the country's borders and ports to avert further spread of Ebola.

The medical practitioners made the call in a communique at the end of the National Executive Council meeting in Awka, Anambra, on Sunday.

Dr Kayode Obembe, national president of the body, commended the federal and Lagos state governments for their response to the health challenge.

Also Read: Widow of Nigeria's sixth Ebola victim also has virus

He, however, observed that the essential structures and framework for containing the outbreak on a national scale were not yet in place.  

The NMA pledged its commitment toward the health of Nigerians, saying that it would join forces with governments and their agencies to prevent the spread of Ebola to other parts of the country.  

It noted that as part of the response to the outbreak, the NMA had put in place a national Ebola Response Committee, headed by Prof Michael Asuzu, and similar committees at the state levels.

The NMA also commended the federal government and the Dangote group for the N1.9bn intervention fund and the N152 956 250 for the establishment of National Ebola Operations Centre in Lagos, respectively.  

The body said the controversy that trailed the establishment of the office of the Surgeon-General of the Federation was regrettable.

Also Read: Ebola epidemic decimating health workers

It said if the office was created, it would have a nationwide structure in place, to promote the enforcement of public health issues and lead the force against emergencies, including Ebola.  

The NMA condemned casualisation of the medical profession as being witnessed in Lagos and some other parts of the country and urged an immediate end to the practice.

“The importation of Ebola to Nigeria clearly demonstrates that we are very prone and more at risk really in the Ebola virus as an opening to several diplomatic and international travels.”

“We therefore call on the FG to police the nation’s borders and ports to avert a further spread of the disease.”

“NEC, therefore, calls on the FG to take steps to further ensure the creation of functional Ebola control committees at all levels of government.”

“We are deeply concerned that many states are yet to establish reliable isolation facilities and the relative unavailability of Personal Protective Equipment,” it stated.

Dr Eric Anazodo, the chairman of the body in Anambra, described the NEC meeting, which centred on Ebola as successful.  

Anazodo urged all Nigerians to be alert and lead healthy lifestyles, in order to enhance prevention of Ebola.

He also urged the media to collaborate with the NMA by educating the populace with the correct information.

-    NAN


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