The Federal Government at the weekend extended the resumption of primary and secondary schools across the country until further notice to prevent an outbreak of the Ebola Viral Disease (EVD)

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Youth and Students Matters, Comrade Jude Imagwe, who disclosed the postponement of school resumption in Abuja yesterday did not state how long the students would be on holiday.

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He said that President Goodluck Jonathan was wary of the danger of the disease to the nation’s future generation and as a result ordered that the schools remained on holiday till the country find a way out of the outbreak.

“He advised that as a President, he did not desire that our secondary and primary schools should be opened at this time because we have high population of young brothers and sisters who want to see themselves grow from primary and graduate tomorrow. “We cannot have what it takes to have eye on each of these brothers and sisters: the future of this country in their classes,” he said.

He spoke at a one-day forum on Tertiary Institutions Students Health Insurance Programme organised by the National Universities Commission (NUC) and NHIS. Imagwe, who charged Nigerians to be conscious of their environment as well as maintain healthy lifestyle in the face of Ebola outbreak, also cautioned against the use of untested and unscientific drugs as a prevention or cure to the virus.

The decision of the federal government to extend the current holiday of primary and secondary schools throughout the country until further notice to avoid the spread of the Ebola viral disease is a step in the right direction. It is a proactive step that would hopefully save the country the crisis of having to respond to an avoidable problem.

While the kids are at home, efforts should be intensified to enlighten the citizens about measures to prevent the spread of the disease, and such measures should be made affordable. The use of hand sanitisers, for instance, has been recommended as a preventive measure, but this recommendation has sent the price of the product skyrocketing.

However, the decision of the federal government to sack 16,000 resident doctors right in the middle of the Ebola outbreak will not help the fight against the disease. Whichever way the strike by the doctors is considered, the bottom line remains that they are fighting for better conditions in the country’s health sector. Their sack will worsen the healthcare delivery system, as replacements would not be easily available.

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