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|A Nairalander View On How The Federal Government Should Handle Ebola by Gwekzy: 6:43pm On Aug 16, 2014|
This is my suggestion to the Nigerian Government. Please hear me out. What I am about to write is unconventional and drastic but I think it will help us re-define the baseline of this outbreak and allow the government to regroup, find its footing and fortify its strategy.
We would need the cooperation of all Nigerians and the International community to assist in accomplishing the object.
1-the govt. should give a two weeks notice to the world(so people can wrap up businesses, travels plans and stock up on food medicines and other neccesities). Then the govt. should shut down and completely lockdown the country for one week. By this I mean all borders should be closed, there will be a 24 hour curfew for one whole week and the whole country will be militarized to enforce this- exceptions will be given only to the sick being ferried to hospitals and emergency officials. Anyone outside during this period will be arrested. For the homeless, there will be housed in schools and they will have basic sleeping materials and food, security. They will have to stay within the school compounds.
2-During this one week period the govt will be able to determine who is sick and might have gotten Ebola and weed them out. The govt will by shutting the borders prevent people coming into the country and also leaving the country( added benefit if everyone is inside, I think they will be able to identify BH better in the northern eastern parts of the country since they will be the ones defying orders and it will be easy for clones to fire on them). Anyway, when family suspect some might be sick they will call their local Ebola respond centers and book a pickup.
3. This stay home period would be completely commerce free; it would allow people to reflect on the disease and discuss amongst themselves their plan of action and because they would be deluged on all media in all languages and about the disease and how to prevent it, it would also be an informative period for the entire population. People who weren’t bothered about the disease before or where just not aware of it would now be forced to realize its seriousness. There is no better way to create awareness than a skeptics that step outside to am empty street or city. Part of the public awareness campaign would involve the govt compelling everyone to have a clean zone(disinfection) at the entrance of there house or compound. That would be the first place everyone one would go to wash off in chlorine/water mix before entrying.
4-the hope is that by the time the one week is over everyone would know the signs and symptoms of Ebola, how to prevent it and what to do once they think they’ve been infected. It would also have allowed the govt to contain the disease by tallying the infected people, remove them from the general public, prevented other people from entrying the country, restored some faith in the country, its economy and given the govt sometime to put in place even stringent measures to prevent new Ebola imports; build better and well equipped quarantine facilities, train more Ebola specialists and put in place Ebola response systems based on local government fault lines.
It will also allow the govt to distribute for free to every one (all 150M) prior to start of exercise a box of gloves, and masks-to give them a head start. Then they can purchase as time goes on.
5-I know this might sound extreme to some but extreme measures are needed in an untested situation when one of the most populated mega cities in the world which happens to be the largest city in the continents largest economy,is dealing with a major and perhaps deadliest disease known to mankind. If you can think of any other disease that infects today and kills in one to three weeks and has no cure-because I can’t. What worries us all is not even the disease-it is our governments capacity to curb it and protect its citizens. We are justified to think this way because the government has so far demonstrated to us how it protect its citizens with human monsters like BH(which by the way can talk and communicate). How do we then expect them to protect us from a disease that has no cure and ability for human negotiation.
The elections are coming-I ask again? What plans are in place against campaign rallies becoming Ebola exchange zones?
I do not trust this government and I am not 100% sure they are forthcoming about the real extent of this outbreak and their true projections of it in the coming months. If after two months of no new cases, then we should all have a collective sigh of relief and hope they have ways of preventing further imports.
But if at the end of September more cases are still springing up then, we are really in trouble. I know people allude to the plagues of centuries past etc…that they only killed some millions and fizzled out. Yes! That was before we had planes and cars and teeming mega cities with all sorts of shared technologies and vehicles etc. if Ebola continues to spread to other international cities THEY WILL CUT Nigeria out, big economy of not. Why? Because they have citizens that will demand it and governments that listens to it citizenry.
I laugh when I hear people call on God. True religion is very important, ‘cos we need extra spiritual intervention to help Africans afflicted with this disease and that are dying quickly like ants. But we ought to wonder, that Nigeria probably the most religious country in the world continues to record some of the worse atrocities and scourge known to man. That just make us really wonder about these prophets, imams and juju priests and perhaps put some of the billionaire ones with extra ordinary powers to the test and so we can demystify them.
If Jonathan truely wants to be reelected then the way he handles this ebola challenge should be how we test his suitability for the position the third time.
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