An Abuja-based medical practitioner, Dr. Solomon Nsikanabasi Solomon has advocated for more funding for the Health Ministry and its agencies, in other to ensure research and training of more personnel to contain with Zika virus recently declared by the World Health Organisation, WHO, as a Public Health Emergency.
Solomon, a resident doctor with the Asokoro District Hospital, stated this in Abuja while fielding questions from journalists on the recent outbreak of Zika virus in some parts of the world and the need to prevent other related diseases in Nigeria.
According to him, there is a need for the government to increase budgetary allocation to the health sector, stressing that with more funds for the Ministry of Health and other agencies of government in the Health sector, new medical personnel could be recruited and trained to contain the outbreak of diseases such as Lassa fever, Bird flu and others, threatening the health sector in the country.
“We have to put preventive measures in place. There is need to intensify preventive medication that is why we should not wait for this Zika virus to come and overwhelm us. We should not fold our arms and watch. In the case of the developed countries, they have trained their medical personnel to contain with the outbreak of Zika virus and other related diseases”.
Zika is transmitted to people primarily through the bite of infected mosquitoes of Aedes species that spread yellow fever, dengue and chikungunya fevers. Zika has a similar epidemiology, clinical presentation and transmission cycle in urban environments as chikungunya and dengue, although it generally causes milder illness.
Symptoms of Zika virus experts say include: fever, skin rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise and headache, which normally last for 2 to 7 days. There is no specific treatment but symptoms are normally mild and can be treated with common pain and fever medicines, rest and drinking plenty of fluids.
Solomon advised, “although there is no reported case of Zika virus patient in Nigeria, If any person is diagnosed with the symptom of Zika Virus such an individual needs to be isolated from the public so that he or she does not go round and infect others and such patient has to be monitored by the trained medical personnel”.
“We are advising people who are travelling to countries or areas where there is an outbreak of Zika virus should as a matter of prevention should make sure that they protect themselves from mosquitoes bite. In protecting once self from mosquitoes bite, one must make sure that there is no stagnant water around ones environment, if any make sure that it is properly covered”.
The Akwa Ibom born medical practitioner cautioned people to ensure that bushes around their houses are cleared. According to him, there is need for people, both the children and adults to always spray their rooms with insecticide and ensure they sleep under the mosquitoes net, always.
According to him, “Pregnant women should be given anti malaria medication to guide against any mosquitoes bite, since Zika virus is cause by mosquitoes, we have to do every possible to avoid mosquitoes in our homes. We should take proactive steps to avoid the virus in the country,” Solomon added.

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