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NAWOJ Embarks On Campaign Agaisnt Ebola

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ebola

By Larry Martins

Nigeria Association of Women Journalists, NAWOJ, Enugu State chapter

yesterday held a one day seminar aimed at sensitizing journalists

about the devastating Ebola Virus Disease, EVD, which invariably is to

help educate the public about the ravaging scourge.

 

While speaking during the seminar tagged, “role of journalists in curbing the

spread of Ebola virus,” Chairperson of Enugu NAWOJ, Comrade Ifeoma

Amuta stated that the seminar was aimed at informing journalists and

the larger society to take precautionary measures.

Amuta  further advised the media practitioners to equally be

equipped to guard themselves against the virus and as well placing them in

a position to properly sensitize people against the virus.

 

Comrade Amuta noted that NAWOJ had been in the vanguard of making

contributions towards national development in Nigeria and Enugu State

and cited the widowhood law in 2001 which NAWOJ initiated and

facilitated, pointing out that the sensitization about Ebola is one of

the efforts NAWOJ is making to bring to the fore the devastating

effect of the disease and how to curb it using the journalists to

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spread the message.

 

One of the lecturers, Dr. Onyinye Emefiene, the National Surveillance

Officer and State Coordinator, World Health Organization, WHO, Enugu

State, described the media as partners in progress in national

development who are in a better position to spread the message about

Ebola and other deadly diseases ravaging mankind.

“The media are critical partners in mitigating the spread of this

disease, acting as channels of communication between health officials

and the public.  There is a need for governments to harness and health

officials to recognise the constructive and positive role the media

can play and to harness their special skills and facilities for the

public good,” Dr. Emefiene points out.

Dr. Emefiene noted that the roles the mass media have played since the

outbreak of the Ebola cannot be over-emphasized because they have been

providing the public with correct information about the outbreak and

even encourage people with the symptoms of the illness to seek early

treatment.

On the part of WHO, Dr. Emefiene pointed out that  WHO has been

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carrying out investigations, supplying quantities of Personal

Protective Equipment,PPE to health officials as well as training

health experts who in turn educate the people on the outbreak and how

to contain it.

Director of Public Health, Ministry of Health, Enugu State, Dr.

Paulinus Ossai, who represented the Commissioner, Dr. George Eze at

the occasion stated that Enugu was free of the dreaded disease and

pointed out that there was no fear because Ebola does not transmit

through the air except by direct contact with someone that has been

effected with Ebola disease.

Dr. Ossai noted that instead of people being afraid of the disease,

they should preoccupy themselves with personal hygiene and

environmental hygiene and to always imbibe the culture of hand washing

with soap as well as disinfect their environment with bleaches such as

Gik and urged the public to report suspected cases to health officials

to take proper action and counseled against discrimination against

those suspected to have been effected with the disease because

discrimination kills even faster than the disease.

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