Ebola: LASG Visits Synagogue Church, Urges TB Joshua not to Accept Victims
In continuation of the enlightenment campaign against the deadly Ebola virus disease, the officials of Lagos State Ministry of Health and the Federal Government yesterday paid an official working visit to the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), seeking the cooperation of its General Overseer Prophet Temitope Joshua in ensuring Ebola victims are not brought to his church for healing.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, who led the delegation, said it was also to make sure that no victim of the virus came into the church from any of the affected countries.
Idris said, “We have our strategies that we intend to share with you. Again, we need to know the resources you have here because whether it is one or two cases, if they are allowed to get out, it is a major problem. We are here to work together on how to contain this disease.”
Idris said the delegation decided to pay the visit to the SCOAN because of the recognition that it was an international Christian centre whose congregation comprised people from all over the world, including the countries of the West African sub-Region which had already been infected by the Ebola disease.
The commissioner added that the visit is one of the state government’s strategies of sensitising faith-based organisations on the need to cooperate with the government to prevent the spread of the disease by educating worshippers to report health issues to medical experts.
Idris said the Federal and state governments were working hard to prevent the virus from coming into the country.
“We have our strategies that we intend to share with you. Again, we need to know the resources you have here because whether it is one or two cases, if they are allowed to get out, it is a major problem. We are here to work together on how to contain this disease,” Idris told the cleric.
Another member of the delegation and Director, Centre for Disease Control (CDC), Professor Abdulsalami Nasidi, said the visit was to inform the church’s leadership about the deadliness of the Ebola virus and to ensure that it does not enter Nigeria.
Nasidi, who is an epidemiologist and a virologist, said the meeting was a “positive engagement mission”. “We are here to engage you positively. We know the powers of this House and your powers and we are duty- bound to protect you and your congregation. We have no doubt the power God has given you; we can’t do that, but we want to help and make it work stronger,” he said.
Prophet Joshua, in his reaction, promised to work with government to ensure that the disease does not spread into the country. He said he would put some measures in place to ensure people from the affected countries do not enter Nigeria.
According to the faith healer, one of such measures would be to visit any of the countries when necessary rather than allow their residents come into Nigeria. He would also suspend some of his church healing programmes for a few weeks. “I am ready to work with you, I love my country and I will be ready to work with you. Even if it is a rumour, there is need to secure our environment to ensure that it is safe,” Joshua said.
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