As Ebola’s survivors return from quarantined medical facilities, they face stigmitization from people who believe that the disease is more contagious than it actually is — and that it can be spread through the air or by simple touch.
The Lagos State Government is set to prosecute employers, landords for sacking two Ebola survivors in Lagos, Nigeria.
The states commissioner for health, Dr. Jide Idris disclosed this during a news conference on Tuesday, September 10, 2014 at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, Lagos, saying it is sad that some employers and landlords would want to stigmatise Ebola survivors.
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 the case against the survivors.
He also said the First Medical Consultant Centre been given the clearance to re-open for business as it has been certified Ebola-free urging Lagosians to patronise the hospital as it is safe.
The commissioner noted that being Ebola-free did not mean that the people should not live a normal live, lose their jobs, or be stigmatized.
“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.
“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,” he said.
The commissioner also advised those on under surveillance to avoid traveling out of state and should alert the rapid response team on manifestation of symptoms or signs.
“Lagosians are also enjoined to report any case or cases that may want to embark on this kind of dastardly misadventure. We’ve also had very serious meeting with mortuary operators because this is another area that might facilitate the spread of the disease.
“We have given them protocols they need to follow when they are dealing with suspected cases, like what they should do and what kind of precautions they should take so that we can reduce the spread. We also want to urge operators to adhere to their professional best practices when handling such corpses,” he said.