Post-Ebola Epidemic and Sustenance of Healthy Behaviour, Looking Back and Moving Forward

Veronica Akwenabuaye Undelikwo, Rosemary Ine Eneji, Eucharia Nwabugo Nwagbara

Abstract


In 2014 the Ebola virus disease became a significant health challenge in much of West Africa, notably Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, even Nigeria. The Ebola epidemic knows no geographical boundary as both developed and developing countries are susceptible to its menace. Key facts about the disease and what could be done to mitigate its spread were awash in both the print and electronic media at the height of its outbreak. There was increased awareness of personal hygiene practices of constant washing of hands and using hand-sanitizers. Body temperature was checked in public places such as airports, schools, etc. There were hardly anywhere, home or organization that you will not find sanitizers and clean water dispensers for hand-washing strategically stationed. 798 respondents from the University of Calabar (staff and students) were surveyed as well as five key informants for in-depth information on what has become of the healthy hygienic practices, and to determine whether Nigerians are still conscious of Ebola and how to achieve sustained healthy practices even after the epidemic. These preventive practices need to be intensified and sustained to consolidate the gains attained in the fight against the dreaded virus. We found a total decline in safety practices by individuals and organizations and this itself raises a major concern about their repercussions, given the paucity and unpreparedness of healthcare facilities. Worse still, relevant agencies such as the print and electronic media are no longer carrying out the awareness campaign.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jsr.v10i1.13595

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