Federal Government has urged universities across the country to brace up to the health challenges posed by the importation Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) into the country.
Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof Julius Okojie and Special Adviser to the President on Youth and Students Affairs, Comrade Jude Imagwe, charged the university administrators and students to be conscious of the pandemic by observing personal hygiene and promptly report cases of observable symptoms to health officials.
Okojie and Imagwe gave the charge in Abuja on tuesday at a joint sensitization workshop tagged, “Tertiary Institutions student’s health Insurance programme” hosted by the NUC in collaboration with the office of the Special Assistant to the president on Youth and Student Matters in Abuja.
Okojie who was represented by his newly appointed Deputy Executive Secretary, Prof. Chiedu Mafiana said the current epidemic which has taken the center stage in the country and some other African countries requires adequate sensitisation.
He urged the university authorities to be proactive and strengthen environmental health on the campuses.
The NUC boss noted that since students are prone to being in overcrowded classrooms, hostels and allied environments, there was the urgent need to sensitize them on the ideal hygienic practices they are expected to imbibe.
On his part, Jude Imagwe who declared the workshop open, said this was an extra-ordinary times in Nigeria that called for concerted efforts to end the epidemic in the country.
according to him, “We must prevent exposing the future of this country to pandemic”.
Earlier in a key note address, the executive secretary National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Dr. Femi Thomas, lamented that only 5.2 million Nigerians are covered by insurance.
He equally disclosed that 62 percent of healthcare expenditure in the country comes from private pockets, emphasising the need for cost sharing.
Dr Thomas said the occasion was a unique one designed to talk to Nigerians and indeed future leaders which the student’s body represents on the need to embrace health insurance measures, and to take adequate care of ourselves and the society.
He also observed that the present health predicament in the country requires a brand new initiative to help address them urgently.