The Bayelsa State Government says it has made elaborate preparations to tackle any outbreak of the dreaded Ebola virus in the State.
Addressing Government House correspondents, after a State Executive Council meeting in Yenagoa, the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Ayibatonye Owei disclosed that, the state government has also set up a 13-man Taskforce to map out strategies as well as liaise with other notable local, national and international health institutions to confront any cases of the virus in the State.
The Committee has the Commissioner of Health, Dr Ayibatonye Owei as chairman, Dr Biribina Samayin as secretary, Dr Wakiente Ombu, Dr Douye Aganaba and Dr Taribara Sigah Ekere as members.
Also to serve as members are; Dr Oyeyemi Abisoye, Mrs Kenisuomein Walson, Dr Israel Jeremiah, Comrade Biobelemoye Joy Josiah, Mrs Monica Azazi Olarinde, Dr Zuobeni Agade and Mrs Shakirat Azazi.
According to the Commissioner, some of the measures being put in place include, training programmes for all health personnel in health institutions across the State, because they are the ones, who are mostly at the risk of contracting it.
Dr. Owei explained that, health personnel will be trained in collaboration with the state ministry of health, World Health Organisation (WHO), Federal Ministry of Health and the centre for disease control, stating that, the Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa and the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital have been designated as centres to handle patients in case of an outbreak of the disease in the state.
He disclosed that, provision has been made for protective equipment for health personnel, while sensitization programmes to enlighten the public have been ongoing on radio, television and newspaper with designated emergency phone lines to be contacted for any suspected cases.
The emergency lines are; 09033107050, 09033148929, 08117168685 and 07010008755.
The health commissioner advised members of the public to be very cautious and take their personal hygiene seriously by washing their hands regularly, stressing that the virus can be contracted through personal contact, especially through the body fluid of an infected person.
“The Ebola scourge is real as the state government and indeed, the Ministry of Health is working towards tackling the scourge.
“Those who have developed the symptoms such as cough, diarrhea, severe pain, bleeding through the nose, eyes, mouth, should be handled with care and be reported to any of the designated centres”.
He said, even though, there has been no reported cases in the State, health personnel and institutions have been put on alert and called for the cooperation of the citizenry.
In a related development, the Bayelsa state government has constituted a high-powered committee to adequately address incessant cases of encroachment on government land in the State.
The committee, which has the state Deputy Governor, Rtd Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah as Chairman, is expected to conclude its assignment in 30 days time.
Announcing the composition of the committee at a post State Executive Council press briefing, Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, Barr Kemasuode Wodu, who is also the Vice Chairman of the Committee, explained that, the terms of reference of the committee to include; the collation and identification all lands acquired by government and to ascertain whether all relevant processes of acquisition as stipulated by law were complied with.
According to him, the committee is also expected to ensure that, in cases where there is no compliance in the acquisition of the land, take steps to ensure compliance, stressing that the government was serious about the increasing cases of encroachment on lands already acquired by government.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Lands and Survey and Secretary of the committee, Surveyor Furoebi Akene stated that, the government will take immediate and necessary steps to take possession of any land that has been encroached upon with immediate effect.
Surveyor Akene noted with dismay, the attitude of some families and communities, who, after agreeing terms with the government and even receive compensation, negate on the terms and sell such land to unsuspecting buyers.
Other members of the Land committee are; the Commissioner of Information and Orientation, Deacon Markson Fefegha, his Housing and Works counterparts, Managing Director, Bayelsa Geographic Information System, Deputy Group Managing Director of Bayelsa Development and Investment Corporation, Surveyor-General of the State, Director of lands in the Ministry of Lands and Survey and the Executive Secretary Capital City Development Authority as members.
In his remarks, the Commissioner of Information and Orientation, Deacon Markson Fefegha, stated that, the Executive council also resolved to observe a one minute silence in honour on the legendary Izon singer and maestro, King Robert Ebizimor, who was killed in a ghastly motor accident on the 31st of July, 2014.
Bayelsa State Government Press Release
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