In the wake of growing concerns over the steady spread of the Ebola virus, WEMA Bank has put in place preventive measures to forestall any cases of the virus in any of their branches.
The bank has put in place self-dispensing hand sanitisers, temperature scanners and protective gear for all members of staff that deal directly with customers in all its branches all over the country.
The bank, in a notice to customers released on Monday, August 25, 2014, stated that henceforth customers and visitors to any WEMA bank branch are mandated to make use of the hand sanitisers and be to scanned for symptoms of high fever before gaining entry into banking halls.
Premium Times reports:
“In the wake of the recent Ebola Virus Disease outbreak across West Africa, we are compelled to introduce the following preventive health and safety initiatives at all our business locations in order to ensure a safe banking environment for all customers and staff,” the bank stated.
“All customers and visitors are required to use the hand sanitisers and also undergo a quick non-invasive body temperature scan before being allowed into our banking halls and business locations.
“In addition, some of our staff at the more sensitive desks will also be required to wear some protective gears while interacting with customers and other visitors during this period” the document added.
The bank did not say what provisions will be made for customers who are denied access due to their body temperature or other health concerns. The bank did not respond to PREMIUM TIMES’ inquiry Monday, August 25, 2014.
The federal Ministry of Health said it was not informed of the move, considered by some as discriminatory. A health campaign organization, Projekthope, said the new policy is discriminatory.
“We should all learn to do things right. The presence of Ebola symptoms does not necessarily mean transmission will take place,” said Steve Aborisade, who heads Ibadan-based Projekthope. “And even if we want to be hyper proactive it should be sensitive in ways that will not be discriminatory and which actually stops transmission which is our first purpose.
” However, a medical expert said the bank should go beyond screening and make adequate referral arrangements for customers who may be turned away due to their health.
“I don’t think we should see it in the light of a discriminatory policy, I think they are just trying to act on the side of caution,” said Osahon Enabulele, the immediate past president of the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA.
“The end point should be to aid the referral of such an individual to the nearest health facility for appropriate treatment. And of course, I expect that they should have a medical unit in the bank to quickly evaluate clients that may have suspicious features to properly evaluate them and not just to turn them away,” Mr. Enabulele said.