This post is dedicated to the lady doctor who lost her life, in the battle against Ebola.
May her gentle soul rest in peace. Amen.
May her gentle soul rest in peace. Amen.
With the recent trend in Nigeria of the purported effectiveness of salt and hot water in battling the Ebola virus which is currently spreading like wildfire through West African countries, many people actually have an official platform to display the limits of their rationality and gullibility.
Since the news filtered in that Late Mr Patrick Sawyer imported the virus from Liberia, he has been branded by many as being a Bio-terrorist (whatever that means). His poor soul has been the object of many curses and swears. We do not fail in our daily course of business to wonder how just one man could place millions at risk.
One thing I have not even yet been able to bring myself to accept is the death of the innocent doctor who treated the diseased deceased Liberian. She was just doing her job, fulfilling the obligation imposed on her by the Hippocratic Oath. She was a human being, with family, friends, dreams and aspirations. In short, she was just a normal citizen, entitled to the same right to life that you and I have. She performed a heroic act in treating the Liberian, even at the risk of infecting herself.
But Nigeria, in our ever palpable state, has refused to recognize the efforts of this doctor. Nobody pays their respect to her soul. Nobody, recognises the sacrifices she made. To many of us, she was just a casualty in the War against Ebola. If it were say, a minister’s son, or a Governor’s daughter that died, the pages of newspapers would be awash with eulogies. The internet and blogosphere would come alive in their honour.
To many Nigerians, including the government, anyone who gets infected with the deadly disease is a lost soul, even if he is still alive. One would not be reasoning preposterously if he decided to lay the bulk of the blame on the importation of Ebola into Nigeria on the government. Before now, many Nigerians, the Government inclusive, believed that we were God’s own people, and no calamity could befall us. This is indeed a Godly and positive way of thin king. But we cannot continue to alienate common sense from our daily dealings. It can be categorically stated that there was no existing policy on Ebola Prevention by the Federal Government prior to the invasion of Lagos. No conscious attempt was made to prevent the importation of the virus into Nigeria, with the intention of actually preventing Nigerians from getting infected.
If our Federal Government had taken the Ebola threat with the same level of seriousness with which they regard the 2015 General Elections, Nigeria would had been a safe haven with a highly developed immunity. The preparations for 2015 Elections were already being made right from the eve of 2011 General Elections. But the Federal Government, did not until recently begin to make policies for the prevention of the virus. The Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu has already accepted that the search for a cure should be paramount to the search for a preventive mechanism. Of course, this is an indirect way for him to inform Nigerians that we should get prepared to cohabit with the virus.
Let it be categorically known this day that Ebola Virus does not discriminate. It does not respect money the same way Nigerians do. There is no known or existing cure for the virus on the face of the earth. HIV/AIDS cannot be cured, but its long term effect can be delayed by drugs and medication. Ebola has no such respite. Once it strikes, it is a straight and quick 3-day count to death. Death is a certainty, not a probability. Having all the money in the world cannot save an infected patient from death. It was reported in Liberia that a former minister lost 9 relatives to the deadly virus.
More than two weeks after the death of Mr. Patrick Sawyer, the Ministry of Health is yet to come out with a policy information preventing the spread of the virus. One would expect a very serious minded ministry to display information which the public needs to know about the virus on all the national dallies and television stations. There seems to be no such official report from the Ministry of Health, aside the daily political hogwash of assurances which our learned Minister, Dr Onyebuchi, mutters to newsmen every day. We only hear about the herculean attempt which the Jonathan administration is making to ensure that the tentative American drug is made available to Nigerians.
In the meanwhile, we are advised to incubate proper hygienic skills, and develop a clean culture. Hand washing should become a ritual, which we are to spiritually partake in. in our best interests, we should live with the consciousness that the deadly virus is likely spreading amongst us, and this would reflect in our social dealings and contacts with one another.
Meanwhile, after kolanut sellers have enriched themselves last week, Salt traders are smiling to the bank.
And Nigerians will still indulge themselves in ignorance.
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