Western Africa

IITA HRS raises awareness in staff about the Ebola virus

IITA Human Resources Service (HRS) has called on members of staff to maintain basic hygienic practices especially in washing hands with soap and water in the current alarm over the Ebola virus.

This call was made on 5 August through a special webinar on “Ebola Outbreak Evolution Confirmation,” which was streamed live from Washington, D.C. and facilitated by Drs Michael Braida and Philippe Biberson, MD with participation from experts in France and UK.

During the seminar, Dr Braida said that the illness resulting from infection by the Ebola virus causes bleeding—Ebola haemorrhagic fever kills 25 to 90% of all infected people. Since there are currently no vaccines or treatments available, staff members were advised to avoid facilities treating Ebola patients; avoid touching blood, body fluids, or secretions; avoid participating in funeral practices that involve touching a dead body or handling/eating bats or other kinds of “bush meat“.

The IITA Clinic through its Head, Dr Samson Adeleke, assured all staff members that it is currently acquiring the basic facilities to ensure that the Ibadan campus stays safe and free from the virus. With proper precautions in place, the likelihood that Ebola will spread to other people is minimal.

Dr Adeleke also asked everyone to remain health conscious and to report cases or stay at least 1 m away from people who are obviously sick.

He also enjoined all  to consult the clinic for appropriate attention or referral once any form of illness, such as fever, headache, weakness, muscle pains, vomiting and diarrhea, rash, red eyes, hiccups, or bleeding – internal and external, was suspected. These are all symptoms of Ebola virus infection.

An Ebola Task Force composed of key staff in the Institute had also been established. According to Lilian Mendoza, head of Human Resources Service, who leads the task force, the members have met and agreed on some preventive measures to address this immediate concern not only in Ibadan but also in other stations. The measures include but are not limited to organizing an awareness campaign about Ebola including more seminars and training for staff; screening, monitoring, and tracking visitors and staff, especially those coming from affected areas; organizing a medical check up for those coming from affected areas, and following quarantine measures, if needed; identifying a possible “isolation center” on campus and abroad; distributing disinfectants to different units in Ibadan and Lagos and all IITA vehicles; moving staff in Sierra Leone to a safer location.

For more information about Ebola, visit http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs103/en/  and https://www.internationalsos.com/ebola/.

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