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Again, Disease Threatens Queens College, Lagos Government Begins Investigation

”Findings, according to the review of health records in the school
sick bay, revealed that 89 students attended the clinic with
influenza-like illnesses."


Almost a year after a student of Queens College died of alleged
waterborne disease, there is an outbreak of a communicable disease in
the school.

Akin Abayomi, the Commissioner for Health, said the Lagos State
Government has commenced inquiries into the alleged illness in `Queens
College and other state-owned schools.

This was disclosed in a statement by the ministry on Tuesday.

The enquiry team billed to investigate the nation of the airborne
disease, comprised of officials from the State Epidemiology Team,
Primary Health Care Services and Environmental Health Department of
Lagos Mainland Local Government.

While reviewing preliminary reports of the investigations conducted by
the team, Abayomi said that the surveillance team identified what
appeared to be a sporadic increase in upper respiratory tract
infections, characterized by cough, catarrh, fever, and weakness,
across some schools.

According to him, the team has since visited Queens College and
investigations are ongoing.

”Findings, according to the review of health records in the school
sick bay, revealed that 89 students attended the clinic with
influenza-like illnesses,” he said.

The commissioner said a walk-through inspection to other facilities in
the school revealed that environmental sanitation and water supply
were optimal, but could be improved.

He also said the incident was not an outbreak of any sort but an
excessive number of reported cases, that needed to be investigated.

Abayomi said nasal swab samples would be collected from pupils for
confirmation of the cause of the illness.

"As we await a comprehensive report of the investigation being
conducted, I would like to appeal to stakeholders of Queens College,
other affected schools and residents of Lagos State to remain calm.

"All should ensure strict adherence to personal and environmental
hygiene, at all times," he said.

The commissioner assured that the situation was under control and
seems to be on the decline. He said the government would give
necessary updates, as the assessment and investigation progressed.

He advised all schools in Lagos to adopt basic precautionary measures
against diseases and illnesses by teaching and ensuring good health

Abayomi also urged schools to promote personal hygiene and provide
adequate hand-washing points within the school premises.

"They must also commence and continue to raise awareness about
respiratory etiquette, hold food handlers and vendors to the highest
health and hygiene check protocols, as stipulated in the law, and as
practised world over," he said.

Abayomi urged students to avoid sharing personal items such as spoons,
handkerchiefs, toothbrushes, among others.

”School management must ensure the conspicuous display of posters with
health messages around the school premises.

“They must commence daily announcements with reminders about
preventing the spread of germs and need for frequent hand washing,” he

The commissioner advised parents not to send their children to school
if they had features of an upper respiratory tract infection such as
cold or flu-like symptoms but rather had a doctor review them.

He appealed to school authorities as well as citizens to report
suspected case(s) of any strange illnesses and diseases to the nearest
Public Health Facility or the Medical Officer of Health (MOH) in their
Local Government Area.

Abayomi said they could report to the Directorate of Disease Control
in the Ministry of Health, through the following lines: 08023169485,