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Ebola: We have it under control – Fashola

Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos state said the state government has curbed the spread of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) that has so far killed four people.

In a state broadcast on 17 August, Fashola assured residents that the state had the capacity to contain the spread of the disease. He said the disease is “perhaps our biggest challenge to public health and the safety of human lives.”

The governor admitted that Ebola poses a threat to the primary purpose of our government which is to save lives and has been tackled with utmost urgency.

“This address has become necessary to respond to a series of text messages, e-mails and telephone calls that I have received in order to reiterate some of what you may already know, to share information about what you may not know, and to keep everybody safe.

“This has become the moreso in the light of allegations that are making the rounds, either that victims are being neglected, or that a useful drug or vaccine is being rejected or that there is a shortage of funds.

“I wish to state very categorically that none of these is true. What is true is that we should perhaps never have been in this situation, but we are now in it. What is true is that the Ebola virus did not break out from within Nigeria, it was imported into Nigeria,” he explained.

“What is true is that we have followed all the contacts that we know who have had primary and secondary contacts with the patient who imported the virus into our state, or with people who had contact with him. Because we had to react to an unexpected situation, we had to react in a proper and methodical way, according to acceptable global health standards.”

He said that the state have been working very closely with international health body to understand the dynamism of the disease. “I can now tell you that in the last one week, with the help and advice of our technical partners, such as the World Health Organisation, the Centre for Disease Control and the Medecins Sans Frontiers, who have tracked this virus and studied it for decades, our response is a lot better than when the news first broke; and our capacity is increasing daily.”

“Although we have suffered very painful losses of lives, I think it is fair to say that we are not yet at an epidemic stage and we are determined to do everything not to get to that stage; because of the grave consequences to the safety of human lives.

“We have provided information to the public on all state-owned media, while the private media have commendably joined in this effort. There is also information available on the social media platform.

“Since Monday last week, precisely on the 11 August, I commenced meetings on an almost daily basis with stakeholders in our society, religious leaders, traditional rulers, market men and women, community development associations, to brief them of the risk, to re-assure them that we are daily gaining control, to advise them and all of you to be cautious but not to panic.

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