Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Landlord and boss stigmatise Ebola survivors

Lagos Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris

Lagos State Government on Tuesday said it will not hesitate to prosecute any resident that stigmatises survivors of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease.

It was learnt that the government took the decision after a complaint of stigmatisation was made by two of the nine survivors, who were also certified free from EVD.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, during a press briefing in Alausa, Ikeja, said that the government was determined to ensure that Ebola survivors were reintegrated into the society.

He said, "The social problem being faced by discharged cases has been reported to the government.

"This ranges from stigmatisation, eviction from their accommodation, being asked to stay away from work and termination of employment.

"We have had cases of employers just terminating the employment of their workers who were just mere contacts, not even suspected cases. We believe this is unfair and we feel this impedes on their fundamental human rights.

"Now, the Ministry of Justice will take the matter up. Anybody, whether a discharged patient or a contact followed up, who feels stigmatised, can petition the Ministry of Justice and the Attorney General of Lagos State and the government will take that matter up on their behalf."

The commissioner said the two cases of stigmatisation that had been reported by survivors had been referred to the Ministry of Justice.

Idris said the government had successfully traced all primary contacts of the index case, Patrick Sawyer, while other contacts under surveillance had been followed up within the stipulated period.

He added that the First Consultant Hospital, where the first case was recorded, had "been decontaminated and also certified to reopen for business."

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