Ebola Virus Disease In Nigeria: The OAU Experience

By Amusan Oluwamuyiwa

The Ebola virus haemorrhagic disease surfaced in Nigeria in 2014 and the first case of disease was confirmed in Lagos, Nigeria on the 23rd of July, 2014. This later spread to involve 19 laboratory-confirmed EVD cases, thus created tension and unrest among the Nigerian populace. Obafemi Awolowo Univeristy was not insulated from the sad development.

Obafemi Awolowo University, a university known for the habitation and pronounced presence of bats, was more concerned about this outbreak, partly due to the fact that fruit bats is known to be one of the reservoirs of Ebola virus. With students freshly resuming for a new semester, more actions, procedures and campaigns were put in place by the then management of the university under the leadership of Professor Bamitale Omole. Fliers, posters and banners displaying the symptoms and signs of EVD were littered round the campus.

Unsurprisingly, cultural gestures and greetings involving body contacts such as handshakes were reduced to the bearest minimum. Use of hand sanitizers were also encouraged and massively campaigned for. Banks, supermarkets and other minimarts were also not left out in this fight against Ebola on OAU campus. All had their portable hand sanitizers and mini thermometers for checking temperatures of customers; a high temperature of over 40 degrees is usually an early indication of EVB.

However, despite these seemingly perfect measures already in place, confusion still ensued on the 10th of September, 2014, when a female student of the institution was reported to have contracted the deadly Ebola virus. This tension was heightened when it was gathered that, the student in question had had an initial contact with an EVD victim in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, Nigeria, before returning to the campus early in the week.

Within few hours, rumours had spread around the campus, students were more careful. They avoided overcrowded places and were almost considering everyone as an Ebola ‘suspect’. Medical practitioners, lecturers from the department of Microbiology were summoned for appropriate interventions. An emergency meeting took place, the whole campus was in disarray! After preliminary tests had been done on the patient, it was unanimously agreed by the management that, the victim be moved to Lagos so that proper and holistic diagnosis can be continued and concluded. A bit of calmness returned to the campus; albeit with crumbs of anxiety and consciousness.

Ebola might have come and gone, but the blueprint it left on Obafemi Awolowo University cannot be overemphasised. The university community became more conscious of her health, students were properly tested, and fumigation and sanitisation of halls of residence took place, among other preventive actions. These, for all intents and purposes, would be pleasing to all inhabitants of Obafemi Awolowo University. At the very least, the health of the student is taken into consideration.


Comments

  1. Sometimes we need some triggers like Dis to restructure our minds back to our health!........nice write-up bro!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. 2014 was indeed a great even with the Ebola virus incidence. It made us (Nigerians) more conscious our health and our environment. Although the salt bath was a hilarious one. As the broadcast went viral friends and family called each other to observe it. As for me I had to go through the same routine(very necessary) every morning as an intern at a teaching hospital in the south west. Trained personnel wearing safety clothing were always at the gate with thermometers to check out temperature. Running water and soap to wash our hands and automated hand sanitizers every. My sister in one of the unity schools also In the south west was not left out. Upon resumption for the term they were subjected to a compulsory test with clearance form to be taken every where. Hand sanitizers and disposable gloves were compulsory items they must carried around.

    ReplyDelete
  3. 2014 was indeed a great even with the Ebola virus incidence. It made us (Nigerians) more conscious our health and our environment. Although the salt bath was a hilarious one. As the broadcast went viral friends and family called each other to observe it. As for me I had to go through the same routine(very necessary) every morning as an intern at a teaching hospital in the south west. Trained personnel wearing safety clothing were always at the gate with thermometers to check out temperature. Running water and soap to wash our hands and automated hand sanitizers every. My sister in one of the unity schools also In the south west was not left out. Upon resumption for the term they were l subjected to a compulsory test with clearance form to be taken every where. Hand sanitizers and disposable gloves were compulsory items they must carried around.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Informative

    ReplyDelete

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