Home NEWS HEALTH Panics In Kuje, Abuja, As Government Chooses General Hospital As Referral Centre...

Panics In Kuje, Abuja, As Government Chooses General Hospital As Referral Centre For Ebola Disease

FCT Minister, Sen. Bala Muhammed
FCT Minister, Sen. Bala Muhammed

Residents of Kuje in the Nigeria’s federal capital territory went berserk on Sunday when news filtered in that federal ministry of health has chosen the only general hospital in the town to serve as referral centre for detecting Ebola virus in the victims.
It was gathered that the hospital, usually populated with patients from Kuje and nearby villages, was chosen as Ebola referral centre because of its closeness to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport where passengers from international flights are expected to be taken  for screening as they arrived Nigeria.
Hundreds of the indigenes and non indigenes who heard the news of the move to locate the Ebola disease referal centre in the town, which is the headquarter of Kuje Area Council, were said to have marched to the resident of Council chairman, Mr. Ishaku Shaban Tete to lodge serious protest.
It was gathered that the chairman himself, who was hearing the news from the protesters for the first time, expressed surprise that no one informed him about the move to site referral centre in the general hospital under his jurisdiction.
He was believed to have quickly joined the protesters and together they marched to the general hospital where the medical officers on duty also said that they had no fore knowledge of the move but that they were only informed to get ready for the siting of the centre.
The hospital officials, according to informed sources, were also not properly briefed, other than some of them being asked to be on standby to be given special training on the detection and management of Ebola patients.
It was gathered that the protesters equally marched to the Palace of the first class traditional ruler, the Gomo of Kuje, Alhaji Jibril Tanko to similarly lodge their protest against the move.
Some of the protesters described the plan by the federal ministry of health as an insult on the residents of Kuje, saying that those who chose Kuje have shown open hatred and disrespect for the people in the town.
They said that almost 40 percent of the workforce in the federal capital and federal civil services are residence in Kuje and that the lives of such people cannot be put at a risk.
“The ideal thing to do in a civilized society like Abuja is for the government to open a referral centre in a secluded or isolated area very close to the airport, not in a town that is already being inhabited by healthy and happy people,” one of them, a Director in the Federal Capital Development Administration (FCDA) said.
Meanwhile, the Council chairman and Gomo of Kuje have promised to take the matter up with the authorities, even as the aggrieved residents vowed not to allow the general hospital or part of it turned into Ebola referral centre. [myad]

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