Thoughts Lead To Appreciation
I wish to cordially disagree with Nigeria’s Minister of Health on some of the health tips concerning Ebola.
Although it is acceptable that travellers are at a low risk of infection, the risk is nevertheless real, imminent and substantial.
Anyone who is on a flight has access to the airplane’s toilet facilities where bodily fluids are expelled.
Not only will passengers, crew and airplane cleaning staff be exposed to that, but the infected person also spreads the Ebola virus on everything the person touches should the person not wash hands thoroughly.
The same danger applies to long distance terrestrial journeys in train cabins or luxurious buses with toilet amenities.
Most other vehicular movements of persons, whether intra or inter-state or nation, occur in non-air conditioned conveyances.
That means much sweating, compounded by hot and humid weather.
That means exposure to someone’s bodily fluids, a health hazard.
Onyebuchi Chukwu equally asserts the Ebola virus cannot be transmitted via handshakes.
Similar to HIV infections, that is true only if both parties do not have cuts or open wounds on their hands.
Should there be an injury on the hand of either person, the peril is present.
Moreover, the average citizen is often unaware of minor cuts or skin abrasions until water or some corrosive substance comes in contact with the affected part of the skin.
Besides risk of direct contact with wounds, there is the menace of conveying to one’s home whatever foreign bodily fluid one has unconsciously absorbed.
Again, the risk is much higher than textbook theories.
It is much better to release minimum information than to mislead citizens to relax their guard.
I do, however, agree with the Health Minister that bitter kola does not cure Ebola infection, contrary to claims widely disseminated among citizens.
There is no basis for such claims.
Finally, I must share my concern for Nigerian and indeed foreign physicians and health professionals who are constantly at high risk of infection just for caring for the nation.
I care for our doctors.