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Bayelsa Sets Up 103 Surveillance Centres to Check Ebola Outbreak; Committee Swings Into Action

The Bayelsa State Government says, it has set up 103 surveillance sites in all the local government areas as part of measures to check any outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease in the state.

The Government has also called on the people of the state to imbibe the culture of personal hygiene, noting that it would assist in the prevention and the spread of the deadly virus.

Making this known at the end of the maiden meeting of an 18-member task force on Ebola, on Saturday, Governor Seriake Dickson assured the people that there was no cause for alarm, since the state has not recorded any reported case of the virus, stressing that in the event of any outbreak, the state government has the capacity to deal with it.

According to the Governor, in view of the high fatality rate associated with the scourge, there is need to treat it as a national security issue and government will provide all the support that the committee requires to function optimally.

Governor Dickson, who called on the people, particularly community and opinion leaders to be watchful for suspected patients with the Ebola symptoms, commended President Goodluck Jonathan for the urgent steps taken to check the spread of the dreaded disease.

He, however, advised the people against ingesting any unorthodox substances like drinking and bathing with salt water as two people have already died and others hospitalized from such practices.

In his remarks, the Chairman of the 18-member Bayelsa State Task Force on Ebola Virus, Dr. Ayebatonye Owei, highlighted measures taken to include, mass sensitization of the people, public enlightenment campaign in the rural areas, Federal Medical Centre and the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital designated ascentres, with isolation wards prepared for the management of the disease.

In addition, help lines that are toll free have been introduced (09033107050), (09033148929), (08117168685) and (07010008755) as well as made arrangement for the procurement of tents and protective equipment for health personnel.

Also, the committee intends to map out a programme to train medical personnel on the management of Ebola, produce materials to be distributed to crowded places such as marketplaces and churches as well as direct all private health institutions on the need to have isolated wards for the disease.

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