November 20, 2014.
By: Ibrahim Olalekan
The World Health Organization (WHO), on Monday, October 20, declared Nigeria free of the deadly Ebola virus after six weeks with no new cases. The announcement portrayed Nigeria and its officials as being proactive to the killer disease with much resistance and public service announcement from the government and civil organizations to the public, educating and informing them on measures to nip the virus in the bud.
While the focus of the Ebola virus was centred on Lagos, the state government created a special isolated area for victims and suspected cases at the Mainland Hospital, also known as Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH), in Yaba.
Prior to the outbreak of Ebola in the country, the Mainland Hospital was lacking in basic and infrastructural amenities like pipe-borne water, stable power supply, conducive environment, and standard medical equipment.
Fortunes of health workers at the hospital was however restored when Governor Babatunde Fashola ordered that the Isolation centre should be cited at the hospital since it was established to treat infectious related diseases.
Congestions at the Mainland Hospital and the sudden rise of Ebola in the country made it imperative for government to hasten the re-development of the hospital. The once neglected infectious disease hospital wore a new look and got face lifted.
However, what used to be the glory of the world has now been abandoned by the Lagos State Government after the World Health Organization (WHO), announced Nigeria as Ebola free country.
Our source at the hospital revealed to our correspondent that functioning facility during the outbreak of the Ebola disease have now ceased to exist. He said further that the medical stationeries and some other protective and basic amenities at the hospital do not get to the health workers and staff members any longer.
The source, who pleaded anonymity, told our correspondent that health workers and staff members now face harsh working conditions.
His words: “Lagos State Government has abandoned the hospital and the isolation centre since WHO declared Nigeria Ebola free. We were without electricity for three weeks and the management had to put on the generator for just six of the 24 hours we have in a day.”
Though power has been restored at the Mainland Hospital in Yaba, staff members and health workers are facing hard time.
Further investigation also revealed that the Isolation recently quarantined a Nigerian who returned from Sierra Leone and was tested negative of the Ebola virus.
The inability to maintain legacies and leverage on existing landmark achievements is a cause of concern to many health workers especially as the glory of the Mainland Hospital is gradually relinquishing. What the Lagos State government has done to forestall future cases of Ebola Virus Disease and health calamity should not in the twinkle of an eye fade.
While Nigerians are hopeful of continuous proactive steps in tackling future health calamities, the governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola should declare a state of emergency on the health sector, and professionalism that best meet international practices should be restored.