By Nishola Akinyera
The Ebola virus is a deadly disease that has found its way to Nigeria, and we all need to be informed about it.
Yesterday, 13th of August, Fair Life Africa Foundation invited some of the street kids who have been visiting the home for a lecture to enlighten them about the Ebola disease, how it is contracted and how to ensure that they do not expose themselves to it while they are out on the street.
The children arrived in the morning, cleaned up, had breakfast and settled down for the educative, health talk about what the Ebola virus is, it’s history and origin, and how it is transmitted. They learnt that transmission can be through:
- Bodily fluids like blood, sweat, urine and semen;
- Direct contact with infected individuals;
- Direct contact with infected animals like monkeys and bats;
- Contaminated surfaces, needles or medical equipment.
They listened attentively and learnt that the signs and symptoms to watch out for in an infected person include:
- Sudden onset of fever;
- Intense weakness;
- Joint and muscle pain;
- Sore throat;
- Stomach pain;
- Lack of appetite;
- External and internal bleeding; and
- Impaired kidney and liver function.
The boys were told that there are a few very simple things they could do to protect themselves from getting infected with the virus. They were advised to:
- Not eat bush meat and suya as they may carry the virus;
- Be mindful of the kind of food they eat and where they buy it;
- Wash their hands a lot, with soap or use a good hand sanitizer;
- Avoid unnecessary contact with the people they meet;
- Disinfect their surroundings with disinfectants, heat, direct sunlight, detergents and soaps; and
- Ensure that any kind of physical contact with a sick or dead person is avoided.
After the health talk, the boys were given a sanitary pack containing disinfectant soap, hand sanitizer, petroleum jelly/cream, and antiseptic germ killer to take along with them for personal use. Their dinner was served in take away packs for them to take along with them and transportation fare was given to them before they left.
We are glad that the boys took the talk seriously. They hadn’t heard about it before, so they asked many questions on what was not clear to them, which were then explained. Hopefully, this information will be enough to keep them safe on the streets.