Considering the vulnerability of school children to contagious diseases, some principals, vice principals and health masters from over sixty Federal Capital Territory (FCT) senior secondary schools were yesterday sensitized on the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) ravaging the country.
At a one day sensitization programme jointly organized by the FCT Secondary Education Board (SEB) and Department of Science and Technology of the FCT, in Abuja, the participants were drilled and enlightened on basic health precautions and how to detect and control the disease, in the event of its outbreak in the FCT.
Speaking to newsmen at the workshop, the Executive Chairman, FCT Secondary Education Board (SEB), Dr. Moroof Akinwande, said the training was to bolster teachers’ and other school personnel awareness and preparedness on the scourge.
He added that the training followed the directive that was given by FCT minister that everybody must be sensitized on the epidemic.
This, he noted was critical to observe, before resumption of schools, because there could be possible contact with the disease by some school children who may have traveled far and near during the holiday period.
“The message is that how are we going to protect ourselves, our children, which in this case are our students; including what we need to do when there is a suspected case of Ebola.
“This is more or less like training the trainers, who will go and replicate same in their own schools before resumption of schools in the FCT, because we want to make sure that everybody is cautious and aware of this Ebola outbreak in the country. And the best preventive measure is just to be aware about how to prevent it.
On specific preventive measures being put in place at schools to ensure that when eventually the school children return to classes that there won’t be room for the outbreak of the disease, he replies that: “we are trying to ensure provide some hand sanitizers at the gates of our schools, little protective wears for management staff and health workers at the schools, so that they would able to face some challenges of the epidemic.”
Similarly, Director FCT Department of Science and Technology, Mrs. Rosemary Umana, said the authorities have identified and assigned desk officers to FCT schools that will deal with the issues relating to preventing and controlling the disease in our schools.
Also, on the provision of basic health facilities to schools in FCT, she disclosed that the Federal government asked the agency to send a list of schools in FCT, so that some of the key health equipment could be released to them, saying “the FCT education secretariat had already done so through the federal ministry of education, and which would be forwarded to the ministry of health for necessary action.
“Thank God we have emergency numbers that have been given to all of us, so those emergency numbers are going to prove very useful in being able to effectively contain the disease.
On his part, President, All Nigeria Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPS), Mohammed Sani Ladan, described the training as welcome development, which will help the school stakeholders in handling issues relating to the deadly Ebola virus.
“The school is the second most populated environment apart from the market in any society, and if there happens to be any outbreak of disease, it will spread like a burning bush fire at the slightest opportunity,” he stressed.
Peoples Daily recalls that due to the current outbreak of the epidemic in the country, the Federal Government ordered that all primary and secondary schools to remain closed until October, instead of the usual September resumption date.
The directive, which applies to both private and public institutions, was to enable school officials undergo a two-week mandatory training conducted by health officials, on how to handle the scourge.