Via Vanguard: Ebola: Dearth of volunteers persist in Lagos despite N60,000 daily pay, insurance. Excerpt:
Lagos State is facing the problem of shortage of volunteers to help care for the victims of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). In spite of a life insurance scheme and N60, 000 [US$370] daily allowance being offered by the state government, health workers and volunteers are still not forthcoming.
This is coming as the Ebola disease saga in Nigeria took a sinister twist with cases of Ebola virus infection emerging among two spouses of the health workers (primary contacts) that attended to the index (first) case, Liberian-American, Patrick Sawyer.
Minister for Health, Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu, who confirmed the development in an announcement yesterday in Abuja, said the new cases are among the secondary contacts who have been under surveillance in Lagos but were quarantined as soon as they developed Ebola symptoms.
Disturbed by the dearth of volunteers, the Lagos State Government has appealed to health workers and volunteers to come forward to join the state’s effort in the battle against the dreaded EVD.
Lagos State Commissioner for Health Dr. Jide Idris, said they were striving to save the lives of confirmed Ebola cases but “our major challenge in this regard is personnel with requisite expertise, hence, our call for volunteers.
“We require experts in different medical fields including critical care and infectious diseases and these still need to be trained using the World Health Organisation (WHO) protocol which may require up to five days of committed training before such experts can apply their skills safely without risk to themselves. Our international experts are currently providing this training on site.”
A daily payment of $370 must an enormous sum in Nigerian terms. It says something about the general anxiety in Lagos that the government is offering it, and the people are declining it.