Ebola: OAU bars Liberian students from coming back to school

by S’ola Filani

Following the controversy that generated from the case of one of its female students who was rumoured to have contracted Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), the vice chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Professor Bamitale Omole, has announced the ban of Liberian students in the institution.

Addressing a press conference, on Thursday in his office, Professor Omole disclosed that confirmatory test proved the female student tested negative to Ebola, he also hinted that as part of the proactive measures to checkmate the spread of the dreaded disease, Liberian students, undergoing educational programmes in the university had been barred from resuming.

According to him, “sequel to an earlier release on a female student of OAU, who was suspected to have been a secondary contact with EVD patient and subsequently sent to Ebola Isolation Centre in Lagos for further clinical and laboratory investigation, the university authorities are happy to announce that the result of the preliminary and confirmatory tests proved negative.”

While declaring that “this university is EVD-free, Omole emphasised that “everyone is enjoined to go about their business freely, without fear or panic.

“However, as prevention is better than cure, members of the university community are advised to maintain standard hygienic precautionary measures as established by the University Ebola Surveillance Committee.”

He said there was a synergy between the institution and National Ebola Disease Surveillance Committee to tackle the menace of the scourge, stressing that “immediately we had the suspected case, we informed the Minister for Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, who deployed personnel and ambulance to evacuate the female student to Lagos State.”

On the need to monitor students from neighbouring African countries studying in the institution, Omole maintained that “we communicated them, especially, students from Liberia not to resume and they have complied,” adding that “EVD scare in OAU is a rumour, which should be discountenanced by the public.”

He, however, contended that “OAU is very proactive on EVD. We decided as a management that we should not wait to have a case before we act.

“In this regard, we procured infrared guns to screen students coming into the campus. We are also collaborating with the World Health Organisation (WHO), which decontaminated our health centre when the issue came up.

“The female student is still in Lagos. She would resume soon because nothing bars or restricts her from resuming for her academic studies. We want to allay fears of parents and guardians over the development and to clarify that no parent had come to our campus to take their sons and daughters away over the development.”

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