Following the declaration by World Health Organisation (WHO) that Nigeria is now free of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), Lagos State government has concluded plans to upgrade the Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH) to a research centre for the study of haemorrhagic fever diseases including Ebola.
Commissioner for Health Dr Jide Idris disclosed this on Tuesday during an interactive session with members of the Hospitality Industry at an event tagged ‘Lagos Welcomes Visitor’ organised by the Ministry of Tourism and Intergovernmental Relations.
Presenting the lessons learnt by government during the recent outbreak of EVD, Idris noted that a key challenge that confronted government was the fact that no one knew much about the disease and the scanty knowledge led to fear among everyone including health workers.
He however noted that the government has realised why a deep research on the disease and other haemorrhagic fever diseases have become imperative.
“We need to look at the socio-cultural aspect of the EVD and even the health of our systems again; a lot of people are doing research here (in Nigeria) because there is no treatment for Ebola, no vaccine out there.
“What we found was everyone running helter skelter seeking knowledge on Ebola; even the WHO had to reduce the protocol for conducting research because of the peculiarity of the disease but we feel Lagos State and Nigeria should not be part of this. We want to continue with our own share of the knowledge into Ebola”, said Idris.
According to him, “if we look at the cases there were some things that stood out; some people that were considered high risk patients who were expected to develop the symptoms did not, whereas those who were low risks developed the symptoms just as younger patients survived while the older ones died” Idris revealed.
He said these and other outcomes would be used to research into the disease pattern in the country.
The commissioner revealed that a core research group has been formed in the ministry to work hand in hand with another US partner with funding from Bill Gates Foundation to provide a Mobile Laboratory to work on the use of convalescence serum from the survivors on treating other cases as well as develop other treatment options.
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