Lagos State Government said it has started search for 27 other secondary carriers that might have had contact with any of the doctors, nurses and health workers who treated the late Liberian-American Patrick Sawyer, at a private hospital in Obalende area of the state.
Dr. Jide Idris, the State Commissioner for Health, who made this known on Wednesday to Punch reporter, disclosed that government was also planning a life insurance cover for doctors and other health workers, who volunteered to work with experts monitoring and testing suspected cases of the Ebola Virus Disease.
According to him, government is currently short of medical staff to attend to those that had been infected, as well as those to be isolated for monitoring.
“We will provide a life insurance for any doctor, nurse and other experts that want to work with isolated patients. We need more hands, because we have moved from the stage of primary contacts to secondary contacts. We are tracing all the people that had contact, not just with (the late) Sawyer, but those that had contacts with the health workers and others that have died. We have identified 27 secondary contacts already, we tracing the addresses of others. It is a tedious task, because we will also be taking their blood samples for testing and we will be monitoring them. We are appealing to the doctors on strike to resume work and set aside their grievances. No doubt, this situation is a dire emergency and our health professionals must recognise that. It will be morally unjustifiable for us to call for help from the international community if our own experts and doctors are not working. The bottom line is that we cannot provide the requisite expertise needed to manage these confirmed and probable cases,” the commissioner said.
It would be recalled that 40-year-old Sawyer, who was in Nigeria to attend a conference in Calabar, Cross River State, was reportedly infected with the killer Ebola virus in Liberia, his home country, before he died last week after spending four days on admission at a Lagos private hospital in Obalende.
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