4th September, 2017
By Kazeem Ugbodaga
EpidAlert, a Non-Governmental Organisation, NGO, has launched AlertClinic, a platform to prevent and curb epidemic outbreaks in Lagos.
Speaking at the launch of AlertClinic in Lagos, the Chief Executive Officer of EpidAlert Dr. Lawal Bakare said there is urgent need to stop avoidable deaths resulting from epidemic outbreaks in the country.
“AlertClinic, our flagship initiative sets to revolutionize disease prevention and detection in communities. AlertClinic does two things for our communities: It allows us to keep in touch with health risks wherever we are by location, it also provide early support to members of our communities whenever they are exposed to these risks.
“The patterns of disease risks vary from time to time and place to place; as we speak today we are recording pockets of Cholera outbreaks across Nigeria, some months ago we were battling meningitis. Who knows what is looming right now, another dry season is approaching, what should we expect and how should we prepare ourselves.
“With AlertClinic, we hope to support our users and communities with this risk information from time to time, so they can be reminded of the simple practices required to mitigate the threats. People do not need to fear diseases, they need to just learn how to protect themselves against them. If we must know, there are billions of organisms sharing this world with us, our work is to ensure we are conscious of them and can protect ourselves from getting harmed,” he explained.
According to him, understanding the risks depend on data which is aggregated through Public Health Formations.
“Our Local Government Disease Surveillance and Notification Officers, our State Ministries of Health Epidemiologists and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control. For every risk that goes unidentified, we shortchange our capacity to protect ourselves against it now and in the future. This is the bigger reason we are launching AlertClinic; after learning to protect ourselves against Malaria, Diarrheal Diseases, Lassa Fever and Polio, communities need to be very vigilant,” he said.
Bakare said the public health formation published announcement from time to time on how to stay vigilant, adding that the organisations were required to look out for certain symptoms, environmental patterns, animals, person , among others.
“They also require us to carry out certain actions when we see these things; visit the hospital, go for testing, use insecticide treated nets, use Oral Rehydration Solution, and most importantly report immediately to the authorities.
“The purpose of reporting is so that our governments can make good sense of what is happening in our communities. The system today relies on people walking into health facilities and/or volunteer community informants. While we know our people do not always visit health facilities, we hope we can grow network of community informants by making everyone become an informant,” he said.