Lagos To Prosecute Employers, Landlords Over Ebola

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Any landlord or employer of labour who sacks two patients who survived the deadly Ebola Virus Disease, EVD, in Lagos, southwest Nigeria would face prosecution, this is according to Lagos State Government.

Dr. Jide Idris, the Commissioner for Health in Lagos state made this disclosure on Tuesday, 9 September, 2014, during a news conference at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, Lagos
The commissioner added that it is sad that some employers and landlords would want to stigmatise people who were identified with Ebola and survived the disease.
He also said the First Medical Consultant Centre had been certified Ebola-free and that the hospital had been given the clearance to re-open for business, urging Lagosians to patronise the facility as it is safe.
Ebola screening at Lagos airport.
Ebola screening at Lagos airport.
Idris informed that two cases of stigmatisation by employers had been referred to the Ministry of Justice for prosecution, saying that the case would only be dropped if the employers withdraw their stigma cases against the two Ebola survivors.
The commissioner appeals to the general public not to stigmatise people with Ebola-related cases.
“The social problem being faced by discharged cases has being reported severally. This ranges from stigmatization, eviction from their accommodation, being asked to stay away from work and termination of employment.
“We’ve had cases of employers just terminating the employment of their staff who were just mere contacts, not even suspected cases.

“We believe this is unfair and we feel this impedes on their fundamental human rights. I wish to implore all Lagosians once more not to stigmatise all cases and contacts that have been given a clean bill of health and passionately urge all of us and all employers inclusive to facilitate their reintegration to the society,” he said.
Commenting on the adverse effect of stigmatizing Ebola free patients,  Idris stated that  it would further make contacts and suspects to go underground and continue to undermine the achievements so far made in the containment and management of this outbreak.
He said: “Even when they come up with symptoms, they may not come out and jeopardize not only their lives, but their family members and other people they come in contact with. That’s why it is essential that people should stop that.”

Idris opined that the Ministry of Justice would take the case of those victimised by their employers, saying that anybody who felt stigmatized could petition the Ministry of Justice and the Attorney General of Lagos State as their matters would be taken up on their behalf “because it is not fair and it is not right.”

He however, urged those on contact list or under surveillance not to travel out of state and should alert the rapid response team on manifestation of symptoms or signs.
According to the Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, no fewer than seven people have died from the Ebola virus in Nigeria since the late Patrick Sawyer brought the deadly disease into Lagos on 20 July from Liberia.
Apart from Lagos where majority of casualties from Ebola have occurred, Rivers State has also recorded one casualty.

Source: Naija.com

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