FG Denies Allegation: MonkeyPox Virus Through Free Medical Treatment…

monkeypox

Nigerian Government has denied the reports about the outbreak of monkeypox in some parts of the country which the say resulted from the alleged free medical care organised by the Government for the people of the affected areas.

In a statement issued by the Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed in Abuja on Sunday asked Nigerians should disregard the reports which he said where being spread by people he described as unprincipled.

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He said, “The Nigerian Government has not conducted any free medical service or care in either Rivers or Bayelsa state, as stated in the fake reports making the rounds. So that could not have been the cause of the outbreak of monkeypox in both states.

“Monkeypox is a virus found only in monkeys and it’s rare in humans. As it belongs to the same family as chicken pox or small pox.

“it’s been suspected that someone may have contacted the virus by eating monkey meat, thereby triggering the current outbreak.”

He also assured Nigerians no effort will be spared in limiting the spread of the disease.

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The Minister of Health. Prof. Isaac Adewole, in an interview with the PUNCH in Jos Plateau state capital, denied rumours that the disease had spread to other parts of the country.

He further stated, although the government had already picked some cases in Rivers and one in Bayelsa state it’s yet to be confirmed, as we are waiting for the results. It is tentative and there is no point spreading false rumour. In fact, there is a fake message circulating that it is because we are doing free medical screening that is why the disease came out.

But according to the Minister who claimed not to be aware of any screening in Bayelsa, Rivers or even the South-East. No, and I wonder the motive. I don’t even know the persons behind it. They just said, ‘beware of free medical screening oo. It is to reduce population in the South-East; that is what has caused problem in Bayelsa and Rivers states.’ I got that text message.”

Asked if he suspected politics in the rumour and falsehood, the Minister said he believed in facts.

Adewole said, “You see, as the Health Minister, I am a technocrat, I believe more in dealing with facts than politics. Rather than call it politics, I will call it a dirty game by anybody trying to really prevent our people from benefiting from any health programme that will advance their health and well-being. The Minister of Information is working on alerting security agencies about that falsehood.

He futher stated “The update on monkeypox is that we are actually developing a programme to increase public awareness. We are advising people to avoid eating bushmeat and dead animals. They should stay away from monkeys and maintain high level of personal hygiene. We will get over it because the disease will burn itself out once we quarantine those who have it, look after them and prevent its spread.”

Meanwhile, the River State Government and his Cross River counterpart have heightened efforts. Most especially in areas of public enlightenment and civic engagement to curb the spread of the virus in the state.

Read on the Fact Sheet About the Virus: WHO | Monkey pox

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