Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Ebola Scare: Private Hospitals in Lagos Reject Patients with Fever

Frightened owners of some private hospitals in Lagos on Tuesday rejected treating patients who visited them with symptoms of fever as part of measures they were taking to prevent contracting the Ebola Virus Disease.

A visit by the News Agency of Nigeria to some hospitals in Lagos Metropolis showed that nurses and other health workers, including cleaners were seen wearing face mask and gloves while attending to patients. Also, some of the health facilities were compelling patients to wash their hands and apply sanitisers before proceeding into their building. Some of the hospitals visited included Jaycee Hospital, Prime Hospital, Lifeline Children’s Hospital and Providence Hospital. A Neurologist at Jaycee Hospital, Dr. Francis Ojini, told NAN that his hospital did not attend to patients who had fever. Ojini said that it became necessary as health workers were at greater risk of contracting the virus. “Health workers are the first to be in contact with patients who visited the hospital and so it is necessary we take precautions. “For now, any illness that has to do with fever is not being attended to as we are trying to be careful because of the new development of the Ebola disease. “If there is need, we refer patients we feel we cannot treat. We hope we are able to curtail the spread in order to save lives,” he said. A nurse at the same hospital, who pleaded anonymity, said that nurses wore face mask and gloves when any patients visited the facility. She said: “We are protecting ourselves from contracting a deadly disease that has no drug or vaccine at the moment.” Also speaking, the Medical Director, Lifeline Children’s Hospital, Dr. Uche Owowo, said that his hospital was making hand sanitisers available for patients. Owowo urged the Federal Government and other civil organisations to intensify awareness programmes to educate the masses about the disease. “Many people still need to know more about the disease, how it can be contracted and how to prevent being infected. “I believe educating people and making the facilities available and accessible will encourage people to be cautious,” he said. Efforts to speak with the medical directors and other health workers of Prime Hospital and Providence Hospital proved abortive as they refused to comment

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