Briefing Journalists, Monday, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dominic Ukpong advisd the public to cultivate hand washing culture in order to help reduce the spread of the disease in the state. Dr. Ukpong who disclosed that the viral disease has no treatment, explained that there was no drug for its treatment, saying ” It is mild. It will go away. It doesn’t have vaccine, it doesn’t have treatment. It will go on its own. Psychologically it could be very stressful and frightening, but it would go away”.
The Commissioner further hinted that the epidemic which was first reported in Bayelsa state, reached Akwa Ibom on Wednesday, 4th October 2017. He said Nine patients have been quarantined, and are undergoing close observation at government health facility. “Health workers have been notified and suspicious cases are to be reported to state epidemiologist and we have asked that suspected cases be transfered to Emergency Response Operation Centres. Hand wash sanitizers have been distributed to health facilities, and public enlightenment and awareness to members of the public has been flagged off”.
The Commissioner who was in company of his Information Ministry counterpart, Mr. Charles Udoh, urged members of the public to practice hand washing culture where ever they are including at homes, offices, market places and other public places.
In his remarks, Mr. Charles Udoh urged the media community in the state to use their various news medium in enlightening and educating the public on ways of preventing the spread of the virus.
He reminded that whatever affects the health and wellbeing of the citizenry is capable of affecting the desire of government to drive traffic to the State through tourism.
“We can’t afford to put our people in panic mood. We shouldn’t allow people to be apprehensive”.What ever affects the health and wellbeing of our people, would affect our desire to drive traffic to the State through tourism”
On his part, the NMA Chairman, Dr. Aniekeme Uwah said his association had since put its members on alert over the incident. He urged the press to partner the association in the area of public enlightenment and awareness campaign with a view of preventing the spread of the virus in the state.
NUJ Chairman, Elder Albert thanked the Commissioner for Health and his Information and Strategy counterpart for the swift response on the matter. He assured of the readiness of the press to partner the state government in preventing the spread of the epidemic in the state through effective Publicity.
To this end, Members of the public are enjoined to report any suspected cases of Monkey Pox epidemic to the State Epidemiologist on 09023330092 or the IRT Centre on 08037934966.