As part of measures to curtail the spread of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) among pupils and students in Lagos State, the state government has directed the Lagos State Water Corporation to commence the connection of no fewer than 600 public secondary schools to its mains for the supply of pipe borne water to the affected schools.
The state Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye, who disclosed this on Thursday, 4th September, 2014, in Lagos at a sensitization exercise on the Ebola Virus for principals and head teachers of public primary and secondary schools as well as proprietors of private schools in the state also advised the education stakeholders to inculcate in the students the basic universal precaution of frequently washing their hands in the fight against the Virus.
Oladunjoye who spoke through the Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Education, Mrs. Omolara Erogbogbo, stressed the need for them to be proactive in safeguarding the human resources in their care against the outbreak of the Ebola Haemorrhagic Fever that has ravaged some West African Countries.
She said that, “as a responsive and responsible government, the state government deemed it fit to put together this sensitization exercise in order to guard against the spread of the Virus particularly among our pupils and students. And for us to achieve overall success in containing the Virus, it becomes imperative for us to organize this sensitization programme to educate ourselves so that whatever knowledge we garner can be used to stop the spread.”
The Commissioner pointed out that by adhering strictly to the health tips from public health experts such as maintenance of personal and environmental hygiene at all times; regular hand washing by pupils and students with soap and water will go a long way in reducing the risk of infection and transmission of the disease from person to person.
“Our experts in the health sector are here to educate us on what Ebola Virus is, how it spreads and how we can prevent it. I therefore charge you to take advantage of this exercise in order to strengthen your knowledge base about the dreaded disease and assist us in taking care of the children under our care,” she averred.
Earlier, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, had noted that the importance of the such a sensitive sensitization exercise for key relevant stakeholders in school health management cannot be over emphasized bearing in mind that school children remain a very vulnerable though not a most-at-risk group with the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) containment strategy.
“By their nature, children especially the young ones, are very social beings that exhibit unhindered, innocent and almost carefree, social interactions among one another such that limitations in contacts prescribed as a pillar of the EVD containment strategy is observed more in breach rather than compliance in these ones. It is for this reason that I align with the state Ministry of Education for organizing this sensitization meeting involving the key relevant stakeholders in school health management,” Idris said.
The Commissioner noted that the severity of the Ebola Virus Disease has necessitated extreme and aggressive measures to halt the spread of the Virus and has led countries heavily affected by the outbreak to enforce measures such as declaring state of public emergency, restricting public gathering including closure of schools.
He also emphasised the need for people to imbibe the basic hand washing techniques in the fight against the Virus in Lagos State.