Lagos, Nigeria — Today, the Lagos State Government and the Dr. Ameyo Stella Adadevoh (DRASA) Health Trust conducted training for health workers in General Hospitals in the State towards increasing their capacity to identify and promptly manage patients during outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases.
In a statement issued on Friday November 17, 2017 by the Honourable Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, the government noted that with a population of over 22 million people and rapid urbanization, Lagos State remains at high risk of infectious disease outbreaks.
Dr. Idris stated that the training is focused on a group of illnesses called viral haemorrhagic fevers (VHFs) which includes deadly viruses such as Ebola, Lassa fever, Yellow fever, and Dengue. He said these viruses cause sporadic outbreaks all over the country and the goal of the training is to build capacity in identifying and containing them in the megacity of Lagos.
The Honourable Commissioner said that he has mandated all Medical Directors of General Hospitals in the state to designate a ward as an isolation unit to quarantine suspected cases. Once diagnosis is made, a confirmed case of VHF will be moved to the isolation ward for expert management. He however added that “there is need to build the capacity of health workers in the State hospitals to identify and diagnose cases before they can be properly managed.”
“Those of us around when Ebola happened know what it was like. So we need these kinds of trainings to refresh and remind people that the threat remains. It’s clear that infectious diseases are not going away. With this training, LSMOH and DRASA seek to increase the state’s level of outbreak preparedness, protect its health workers and help keep the people in Lagos state safer” added Dr. Jide Idris.
The Honourable Commissioner concluded his remarks by commending DRASA for the laudable initiative and pledged the commitment of Lagos State Government to the successful implementation of the project on Simulation Training on Emergency Preparedness and Response for Emerging Infectious Diseases in Lagos State being sponsored by DRASA.
Ms. Niniola Soleye, Managing Director of DRASA said, “This isn’t a typical lecture or presentation type of training. We’re using simulation and scenarios to make it hands-on and to ensure that the doctors and nurses we’re training actually go through the process. So when they’re faced with a real live infectious patient as Dr. Adadevoh was with the first Ebola patient in 2014, they will know what to do. That’s our goal.”
“The training will cover multiple topics including how health workers can identify and triage suspected VHF patients, how they should apply standard precautions, and how they should put on and take off personal protective equipment (PPE) before and after dealing with a suspected case” she added.
Ms. Niniola concluded stating that, “This training is just the beginning. We look forward to fulfilling the MOU between DRASA and LSMOH to keep our communities safe and protected from public health threats by providing an ongoing series of capacity building simulation trainings for health facilities across the state.”
About Lagos State Ministry of Health (LSMOH)
The Lagos State Ministry of Health is the official government body responsible for carrying out mandated functions and responsibilities in the health sector. The vision of the LSMoH is to attain excellence in health service delivery by applying best practices at all levels of care, while its mission is to deliver qualitative, affordable and equitable healthcare service to the citizenry applying appropriate technology by highly motivated staff.
About Dr. Ameyo Stella Adadevoh (DRASA) Health Trust
DRASA’s work protects society from infectious diseases and public health threats through the advancement of infection control practices, hygiene and sanitation behaviors, and outbreak preparedness measures. DRASA was established in memory of Dr. Ameyo Stella Adadevoh, the doctor who correctly diagnosed and contained the first case of Ebola in Nigeria, saving countless lives.