The Nigerian government through the federal health ministry has announced it would be training and certifying health practitioners on how to deal with Ebola, the viral haemorrhagic fevers, using a newly launched online portal.
The portal was developed by Farida Kabir,a graduate of zoology from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, while on national youth service at the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
Ebola virus disease (EVD), or simply Ebola, is a viral haemorrhagic fever of humans and other primates caused by ebolaviruses. Signs and symptoms typically start between two days and three weeks after contracting the virus with a fever, sore throat, muscular pain, and headaches.
She said she was motivated to bring knowledge of hemorrhagic fevers online after the “scary Ebola epidemic” which killed thousands across West Africa.
In the mass hysteria that followed an anonymous social media message passed via instant messaging, requiring individuals to take a salt bath, she said her diabetic grandmother was bedridden from following the message.
The portal for Online Training and Awareness Campaign (OTRAC) for Viral Haemorrhaghic Fevers support a sign up and log-in for five separate courses and curriculum on hemorrhagic fevers, including Ebola, Lassa fever, Yellow Fever.
A post-training test leads to certification endorsed by the Federal Health Ministry. Linked social media accounts will allow the NCDC, when it takes over the portal, to send messages to Nigerians on social media, and forums will allow users share their thoughts.
Health permanent secretary Linus Awute said health practitioners will subscribe to the portal for training and testing. Modules for grading tests are expected to be in place when the NCDC takes full control of the portal.