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Ebola: “Schools must re-open” – Health Minister




Lagos, Sept. 12, 2014 (NAN) The Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, on Friday said that there was no reason why schools should not reopen on Sept. 22.

Chukwu said this at a media briefing in Lagos.

“It is for the commissioners of education to advise the principals, at least for public schools, as well as private schools on when they can reopen.

“The ministry of health is like what the weather people are to the nation.

“They will tell you that the weather will be sunny, stormy or there will be heavy downpour, but they can never directly, for example, stop any plane from flying.

“It is for the aviation people to take the advice and combine with other factors to decide whether flights will take off or not.

“So, I want to make it clear that from the technical point of view, there is absolutely no reason why any school, except if they have other problems that are not medical, cannot reopen,’’ he said.

The minister said that the ministry had no objections to schools resuming on Sept. 22.

“So, when the minister of education, working with the commissioners of education, said they have revised the opening of schools from 13th Oct to 22nd of Sept., we have nothing against that.

“If we did, we would have objected or let them know,’’ he said.

Chukwu said the resumption would also give opportunity for children to be taught about EVD.

“It will even give us opportunity to teach the children what EVD is all about.

“It is going to offer us opportunity to reinforce what we are already teaching their teachers because the teachers are going through programmes on how they should handle children who are sick.

“You notice that Nigeria has not closed any market, church, mosque and children follow their parents to these places.

“So it doesn’t simply make any sense yet to continue shutting down the schools,’’ he said.

Chukwu said that people should not relax even though EVD is being contained.

“Luckily, we are still winning. Schools have to reopen. But that doesn’t mean we should go to sleep.

“We know now that there is no place in Nigeria now that we are treating anyone for EVD, but we have not started celebrating yet for the simple reason that we have not yet won the war.

“We do not want surprises.

“No one for now has active EVD in Nigeria, but that is not to say that will be surprised if we have one tomorrow,’’ Chukwu said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) was established by the Federal Government of Nigeria in May 1976 to gather and distribute news on Nigeria and cover events of interest to Nigeria at the international level for the benefit of the Nigerian Media and the Public.


  1. Theophilus Ukwumaka

    September 14, 2014 at 5:37 am

    Schools should resume. What happens to other public places in the spread of the virus?

    • Plush

      September 14, 2014 at 7:05 pm

      I think the interaction pupils on holiday have with each other outside of school is quite different from the everyday close contact they have in school, where they would freely use each other’s things, even share food or water from bottles. I remember Apollo (conjunctivitis) and chickenpox circulated round my family as a child thanks to a child bringing it home from primary school.

      The highest level of the future, university students, our tomorrow’s workers and economy builders, have at various times sat at home for protracted periods in recent times. We didn’t see this ‘Schools must re-open’ approach to resolving the contentious issues. It is now the primary and secondary that must return to school (private or public) whether Ebola remains a threat or not, because…………???

  2. ZIzi

    September 14, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    Let schools resume lectures

  3. Emerie

    September 15, 2014 at 9:15 am

    Plush,thank you. My younger ones are not stepping out until this virus is controlled. There is a big difference between adult and children interaction.

  4. Mummylicious

    September 16, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    I think it is callous and very insensitive for these people to talk and debate on when schools should reopen. I hear all they say but what I don’t hear is anyone asking how the parents of the children with whom their money helps to make the schools function feel about these decisions they are making on our behalf. Our children come first above every other thing… Enough! With the chanting of schools must reopen and rather time for our voices as parents to be heard our children’s lives are not to be tossed around with they are living beings and it our duties as parents and a nation to do what’s best for them and not what’s best for the schools. Financially these schools have to reopen bcos they need our money aka school fees bcos without it the schools can’t function and teachers won’t be paid so then you decide if the school or teachers are more important than you children’s lives. I bet you most of these teachers and school administrators have probably flown their kids abroad to be well safe there. Heck! They could as well say ” kids brought to school are at parents risk” As a mother of two beautiful souls I feel like there isn’t just enough I can do to keep them safe, even though they don’t say it I know they are thinking it that mummy has got to be loosing it bcos I have taken cleanliness in the house and around just a lil bit over board lol. I am all over them in the house and just imagine when I send them off to school where I don’t have my eyes on them or can’t get to them in a sec when they call out for me. But seriously I am only doing what every mother or parent will or should do to protect their precious ones. So I stand up and speak against but I also speak for the children who don’t even have a voice in all of these. Ebola is real and very deadly. They tell us of the cases they know but what about the ones they are not aware of, coming in from our boarders and God knows where. After all we have heard of people strolling out of quarantine centers boarding buses and airplanes. smh. That to me proves that the quarantine centers are not properly secured if someone who is under surveillance can walk out go pack a suitcase and leave town these are just few of the negligence and then you turn around and compare the lives of our children with the weather?? Smh.

  5. Emmanuel

    September 17, 2014 at 8:14 am

    thats Nigeria for us self intrest

  6. Abolarin Adebola

    September 17, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    That was how they kept telling us ”we are on top of the game” ’till one side of the country is almost wiped out. While this destruction of life and properties is on-going as we speak, we are still not sure where they are – TOP or BUTTOM! Well, if you care about your children, what you do is up to you.

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