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Nigeria makes gains in efforts to contain Ebola

Reporter: Deji Badmus 丨 CCTV.com

08-20-2014 11:30 BJT

Health officials in Nigeria say they are containing the outbreak of Ebola. Four more people who were sick have recovered and been discharged. And the media has played a large role in educating people.

This simple building has been the focal point in Nigeria’s fight against the Ebola virus.It is the isolation center where those infected are being treated. For the very first time health officials have brought journalists here.To talk about four patients who’ve survived.

“They have been symptom- free for at least three days and they have had their blood checked and they have now tested negative for Ebola virus. They are being counseled by the Psychosocial team and they would come periodically for check ups. But by protocol, they are OK and that is why we are releasing them to go home. Other people we are monitored, if they are OK, we will let them to go home.” said Jide Idris, Lagos State Commissioner of Health.

Nigeria has not recorded any death now for the past five days.Health experts say that is very encouraging sign.People also are far more aware of how to protect themselves.

“I’m not at all scared. The thing is it is when the thing has come to a full blown state that you can avoid. But you shake peoples hands and you do the basics, you wash your hands by the time you get home. It’s OK. You can tell people that have Ebola and the moment you wash your hands, I think you’re OK and good to go.” said Onabolu Kunle, Lagos Resident.

Much of that awareness is thanks to an intensive campaign by the country’s media.Local television stations have been reporting extensively on what Ebola is and how it spreads.Here at Television Continental, staff also take precautions.

“We have had meetings from senior management down to the gatemen on how to protect themselves. On our TV stations, we have health programmes where we talk about the same topic, Ebola and during our news hours, we also have promos on tips on Ebola and how to protect yourself and what is going on now in Africa or west Africa. We are not only educating ourselves in house we are also educating the public.” said Ifeanyi Omije, Director of Human Resources, TVC.

Newspapers too have been effective - pushing the message on prevention and treatment - and debunking some of the rumours that have trailed the outbreak of the disease here.

Nigerians are indeed being loaded with so much information about Ebola in the last couple weeks.That palpable tension you could feel when the first Ebola case was reported in this country is fizzling out very quickly. When the war on the virus is eventually won, apart from those medical workers who have volunteered to combat this disease, the local media would certainly take a huge amount credit in helping to stop Ebola in its track.

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