WFP Says It Needs $70m To Feed 1.3m People In Ebola Quarantine

EbolaThe World Food Programme says that it needs to raise $70 million to feed 1.3 million people at risk from shortages in Ebola-quarantined areas in West Africa.

WFP’s West Africa Director, Denise Brown, said that the organisation was currently providing food for around 150,000 people in Ebola-striken nations but needs to rapidly scale that up as the worst ever epidemic of the virus advanced.

Mrs Brown added that the WFP would look from donations from major donors like the United States, the European Union, the World Bank and Japan, as well as from non-traditional benefactors such as Arab states.

She, however, warned that the agency’s resources were already thinly stretched by major humanitarian crises in Syria, Iraq, South Sudan and Central African Republic.

Ebola Drug ZMapp Is 100% Effective

ZMappHopes of a breakthrough in the fight against Ebola have been raised by the 100% successful treatment of monkeys with the deadly disease.

The experimental drug, ZMapp, cured the animals even when administered five days after infection, while they were displaying severe symptoms.

All 18 rhesus macaques made a complete recovery, in contrast to three other untreated monkeys that quickly fell seriously ill and died.

Two U.S. doctors given the drug after they were infected with Ebola while working in Liberia subsequently recovered. It is not known, however, whether they were saved by the drug or just lucky.

About 45% of those infected in the current outbreak have survived without treatment.

At least two other patients treated with ZMapp have died, possibly because help got to them too late.

The new research, published in a special report on Nature Journal’s website, provides hard evidence that the drug works and can be highly effective.

ZMapp is a blend of three laboratory-made antibodies designed to neutralise the virus.

Nigeria’s Health Minister Confirms Two Ebola Cases In Port Harcourt

EbolaTwo new confirmed cases of Ebola virus have been recorded in Port-Harcourt, raising Nigeria’s Ebola virus status to 15, including the index case, Mr Patrick Sawyer.

The Minister confirmed this in a statement issued on Thursday, August 28, giving an update on the Ebola Virus Disease in the country.

The Health Minister’s Full Statement

The total number of cases of EVD cases so far reported in Nigeria stands at fifteen (15).

The total number of cases treated at our isolation ward stands at thirteen (13).

The total number of those discharged is seven (7).

The total number of deaths from those treated in Lagos is five (5), and the total number currently under treatment is one (1) and the person is stable and improving clinically.

You will notice that the number of cases has increased from thirteen (13) to fifteen (15).

You will also notice that this additional two (2) were not treated in the isolation ward in Lagos.

One of them is a primary contact of the index case (Mr. Patrick Sawyer). Even though presently he does not have EVD but further laboratory tests indicate that he had suffered EVD.

This primary contact of Mr. Sawyer’s evaded our surveillance team in the last week of July 2014 and travelled out of Lagos to Port Harcourt where, as we now understand, he consulted with a doctor and was apparently treated for some symptoms. After four days, following a manhunt for him, he returned to Lagos by which time he was found to be without symptoms.

This case would have been of no further interest since he had completed the 21 days of surveillance without any other issue, but for the fact that the doctor who treated him died last Friday, 22nd August, 2014.

Following the report of this death by the doctor’s widow the next day, the case had been thoroughly investigated and laboratory analysis showed that this doctor died from EVD. As a result, several contacts have now been traced, registered and placed under surveillance. However, because the widow is now symptomatic, she has been quarantined pending the outcome of laboratory tests on her.

The Incident Management Committee has already deployed a very strong team to Port Harcourt to work with the health authorities of Rivers State. Just like the situation has effectively been managed in Lagos and Enugu, the situation in Port Harcourt will also similarly be effectively managed and we have begun to do so.

The total number of deaths from Ebola Virus Disease in Nigeria, therefore, is now six (6), the index case (Mr. Sawyer), the four (4) primary contacts that died in the isolation ward in Lagos, and a doctor that died in Port Harcourt whose blood sample tested positive after death. Also, seventy (70) persons have been placed under surveillance in Port Harcourt.

I want to charge the residents of Port Harcourt not to panic over this situation as the experience we have gathered from Lagos and Enugu respectively indicate that there is no cause for alarm when you have the government fully in control of the situation.

Once again we appeal to all contacts under surveillance to abide by the advice given to them by the Incident Management Committee.

With regard to Enugu, all secondary contacts will be followed up till tomorrow when they are all expected to be discharged from our surveillance.

Ebola Death Recorded In Port Harcourt

ebolaA doctor in Nigeria’s city of Port Harcourt, who secretly treated a diplomat who had contact with the first case of the disease in Nigeria, has died of Ebola.

This is the country’s first Ebola death outside Lagos and the sixth fatality in Nigeria.

Health Ministry spokesman, Dan Nwomeh, confirmed that the doctor had treated a primary contact of Patrick Sawyer, the Liberian-American who brought Ebola to Lagos.

Health Minister, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, also said that the doctor had died on August 22, but the results of the tests have only just been made public.

Controversy, however, trail the number of people under surveillance. The Health Minister said that 70 people are under surveillance in the city, while his wife has been put under quarantine.

However, the Rivers State Commissioner of Health, Dr. Samson Parker, said that 100 contact persons are under surveillance and that a 24-hour surveillance has been declared on all contacts, including patients of the late Dr Iyke Enemoah.

The diplomat, who has since recovered, was part of the team who met with Patrick Sawyer in Lagos.

The World Health Organization says the Ebola outbreak, which has killed 1,427 people, is the largest ever Ebola epidemic and has infected an estimated 2,615 people.

Liberia has been hardest-hit of the affected countries, with 624 deaths and 1,082 cases since the start of the year.

The Director of the Centers for Disease Control, Tom Frieden, has said that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is going to get worse before it gets better.

The top US public health official said that the epidemic would need an “unprecedented” response to bring it under control.

Health ministers from across West Africa are due to meet in Ghana on Thursday to discuss the growing crisis.

Ebola: Health Minister Says Few More Cases Might Emerge

EbolaNigeria’s Health Minister, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, on Thursday, gave an indication that few cases of the Ebola Virus Disease could still be recorded among the 189 people currently being observed for having physical contacts with the initial 11 people who were infected by the late Patrick Sawyer.

Chukwu, according to a statement by his Special Assistant on Media and Communication, Mr. Dan Nwomeh, stated this while declaring open, the Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons in Abuja.

He said, “With a good number of secondary contacts yet to complete the 21-day incubation period, the possibility of two or three more cases could not be entirely ruled out.”

He commended the health workers who were managing patients of the EVD for their courage, compassion and sacrifice.

The Minister, who observed that nine of the 12 confirmed cases were either medical doctors or nurses, singled out the most senior physician that treated the late Sawyer, Dr. Ameyo Adedavoh.

He commended the late Adedavoh for her exceptional bravery, saying she paid with her life to ensure that many other Nigerians were not contaminated by the virus.

He said, “Dr. Adedavoh took the brunt of physically blocking the patient from running away from the First Consultants Hospital, which would have not only infected more people, but also make contact tracing difficult. I am confident that she will be honoured by Nigeria at the appropriate time”

On the status of EVD in the country, Chukwu said that the total number of confirmed cases still stood at 12, with five dead, five successfully managed and discharged, while the remaining two were currently undergoing treatment at the isolation ward in Lagos.

N200 Million FG Donation To LASG Distinct From N1.9 billion Intervention Fund

Onyebuchi Chukwu on EbolaThe Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, on Thursday said the N200 million donated to Lagos State by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) will not be withdrawn from the N1.9 billion Ebola Intervention Fund.

The Minister, in a statement signed by his Special Assistant on Media and Communication, Dan Nwomeh, said the “ The N200 million is a distinct and direct Federal Government support to Lagos State and does not preclude other assistance that may be rendered to the State through the Federal Ministry of Health”.

The Minister also listed corporate organizations that have made contributions to the Federal Government’s control measures against Ebola Virus Disease in Nigeria

These are:
*Aliko Dangote Foundation donated N152 million to sponsor the Ebola Emergency Operation Centre in Lagos.

*The ANAP Foundation founded by Mr. Atedo Peterside informed the Minister of Health that the foundation would be supporting affected private hospitals to the tune of N100,000 (one hundred thousand naira) per bed space. He also disclosed to the Minister that the First Consultant Hospital in Lagos where the index case was managed would be the first beneficiary and that the hospital would receive N4 million since its bed capacity is forty.

*The Tony Elumelu Foundation has pledged a donation of N50 million to support the Federal Government’s containment efforts.

*Shell Petroleum Limited donated an ambulance to the Ebola Emergency Operation Centre in Lagos.

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved the sum of 200 million Naira to support the Lagos State government in tackling the Ebola Virus Disease that has killed at least 1,200 persons since its outbreak in the West African region early this year, while President Goodluck Jonathan declared the control and containment of the Ebola virus in Nigeria, a National Emergency and set up an intervention plan with N1.9 billion approved for the control of the disease.