President Buhari, Liberia’s Johnson Sirleaf Discuss Regional Security

Johnson-Ellen-Sirleaf-Muhmmadu-BuhariNigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari and the Liberian President, Ms Johnson Ellen Sirleaf, held talks on Tuesday that centred on regional Security and improved relations between both nations. 

The Nigerian leader once more brought to the fore what he called the hunger and starvation ravaging Northeast Nigeria following the Boko Haram insurgency, stressing the need to end terrorists activities in the region for food security.

After talks, the Liberian President told reporters that she was in Nigeria to thank President Buhari for the support her country received from Nigeria, following the Ebola disease outbreak.

She said that she came to also renew the strong bond of relationship between Nigeria and Liberia.

Johnson-Ellen-Sirleaf-Liberia-President
The President of Liberia, Johnson Ellen Sirleaf said Nigeria and Liberia would become stronger with greater ties

“I came to talk about the joint commission that has been formulated and how we can make it a more effective instrument for improving relation – trade relation, investment relation, international relation – and to continue to see Liberia and Nigeria as strong friends,”the Liberian leader said.

Madam Sirleaf expressed gratitude to Nigeria in the setting up of the Liberian Army and called for the renewal of the bond between Nigeria and Liberia under President Muhammdu Buhari.

President Buhari was impressed with the progress made so far in Liberia. He expressed hopes that West African countries would ensure peaceful elections coming up in some countries in the subregion.

He asked the international community to continue to support him to restore peace in the northeast being ravaged by starvation brought about by Boko Haram.

“How do we stop the sub-regional terrorists infiltration and attacks. The Lake Chad Basin Commission, comprising of Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria and Benin have to work with other from other parts of Africa and the ECOWAS to make sure that we stop the spate of terrorism, the effect of which you know that in the northeast, for the last two planting season, they have not planted, much less harvest.

Muhammadu-Buhari-on-north-east-Starvation
President Muhammadu Buhari is hopeful that an end of Boko Haram activities in the northeast will ensure food security

“So there is starvation. You need to see the several millions of Nigerians in Internally Displaced Persons camp. We went over all these things that affect most of us in our region and the continent,” President Buhari said, listing areas that discussions with the Liberian leader had focused.

The two leaders pledged to continue to do their best to ensure that their economies get back on track.

Wife of Ebola Survivor Welcomes Baby girl

ebolaIt is another cheery news from First Consultants Medical Centre in Lagos, as the wife of a male Ebola survivor, Dr. Adewale Adejoro, has been delivered of a healthy Ebola-free baby girl.

According to the hospital’s Medical Director, Dr. Benjamin Ohiaeri, who made the birth announcement on Thursday, Mrs Opeyemi  Adejoro put to bed at 7.24 pm on Tuesday, December 1, 2015.

“The baby girl, weighing 3kg at birth (its placenta 450g), a product of a term gestation was delivered following strict guidelines and recommendations from the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), USA, through the pre-natal and delivery stages,” Dr. Ohiaeri said.

In November 2015, First Consultant Medical Centre celebrated Dr Ada Igonoh’s safe delivery of a baby girl in the United States.

First Consultant Medical Centre, Lagos, is the same hospital where the index case of Ebola in Nigeria, Patrick Sawyer, was treated.

Ebola Survivor, Ada Igonoh Welcomes Baby Girl

Ebola-Survivor-Ada-IgonohAn Ebola survivor and a resident staff of First Consultant Medical Centre, Dr. Ada Igonoh, gave birth to a baby girl on Tuesday afternoon.

The hospital said the baby girl, weighing nine pounds one ounce, was given birth to at the Greater El-Monte Community Hospital in California, USA.

Certified Ebola-free

Dr. Igonoh is the only female medical doctor to have survived the deadly disease.

Since her conception, Dr. Ada has been placed under medical surveillance to ensure that her child is Ebola-Free.

The baby, upon birth, has been certified Ebola-free.

To mark the wonderful news, the staff and friends of First Consultants Medical Centre are jubilant in celebration, as they welcome a new lease of life to the institution and in memory of fallen colleagues and survivors of the deadly disease.

The Ebola Virus was first reported in Nigeria at the First Consultant Medical Centre in July 2114, after a Liberian lawyer, Patrick Sawyer, was confirmed to have contracted the virus. At least seven persons died as a result of the disease, including the Liberian.

The World Health Organization, in concert with the Centre for Disease Control, formally declared Nigeria Ebola-Free on October 20, 2014.

Traditionalists Link Ondo Strange Disease To Shrine Desecration

Ondo State diseaseTraditionalists in Ondo State Have linked a strange disease that has claimed several lives in the state to the desecration of a shrine.

The outbreak of the disease in the ancient town of Ode-Irele which is the headquarters of Irele Local Government Area of Ondo State has thrown residents into deep mourning.

It broke out in the town few days ago and it has claimed the lives of about 20 people.

In the ancient town, young women and girls were seen on Saturday fetching water and dipping a particular leaf in it and also pouring water in a shrine in the town.

According to the traditional beliefs of the people the ailment might have emerged after some miscreants broke into the shrine few days back. The water and leaf are aimed at appeasing the gods.

Traditional priests in the town, Isaac Akingboye and Akinmola Adegbenro, believe that a traditional god called Malokun had some days ago entered the town, which led to the strange ailment and deaths.

More Devastating Than Ebola

Addressing reporters on the strange disease on Saturday, the Ondo State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dayo adeyanju, said that the state government had, after it got news of the ailment, deployed a team of health experts to the community to examine the victims and put the spread under control.

He said “the ailment starts with headache, blindness and eventually leads to death within few hours it attacks its victims”.

The Primary Health Coordinator of the Local Government, Dr. Segun Ayodele and the Caretaker Chairman of the local Government, Dele Olatunji also gave further insight on the ailment that had not been identified by medical experts.

The people of Ode-Irele are hopeful that a quick and lasting solution would be given to the strange and deadly disease which they say is more devastating than Ebola.

While the Doctors are carrying out research to find out the cause of the disease, the traditionalists are appeasing the gods for solutions they believe could come from there.

Akwa Ibom Govt Debunks Rumours Of Ebola

ebola_virusThe Akwa Ibom State government has debunked rumours of reported cases of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease in the state, describing them as false.

There have been publications on the internet claiming there were reports that the Ebola virus had spread to Akwa Ibom State days after a health worker tested positive in neighbouring Rivers State.

The Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr Aniekan Umanah, in a joint statement with his Health counterpart, Dr. Ememabasi Bassey, said so far, no case of Ebola had been established in the State.

According to the statement, the rumoured Ebola case at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital was unfounded, as “the medical authorities confirmed it to be case of allergies. In the case of the dead body brought in from Port Harcourt in Rivers State, it was confirmed that the deceased died of renal failure and was buried in his community”.

The statement indicated that the lady alleged to have had contact with the Ebola case in Port Harcourt, was traced to Aba and not Akwa Ibom.

The said lady, has however, “been certified free of the Ebola virus”.

Calling for universal action against the virus from both medical workers and citizens, the commissioners, mentioned that the state government had formed a task force to prevent the disease from gaining entry into the state and was also involved in inter-state collaboration against the disease.

“The State government has so far acquired hand-held infrared screening machines and no passenger passes through Akwa Ibom airport without being screened. More machines have been acquired for distribution to strategic places, in order to ensure adequate coverage of the Ebola screening exercise in the State,” the statement further read.

Mr Umanah while enjoining citizens to discountenance the rumour on Ebola, said the government had stepped-up enlightenment programmes on radio, Televison and handbills, with a view to ensuring that citizens take adequate precaution against the deadly virus.

South-East PDP Reject INEC’s New Polling Units

New Polling UnitsThe Leaders of the People’s Democratic Party in the South-East of Nigeria have rejected the plan by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, allocating 8,000 new polling units to the South zone and 21,000 to the North zone of the country.

Leaders of the southeast People’s Democratic Party have described the move as a great disservice to the unity of the nation and therefore demanded its reversal.

The party’s Publicity Secretary, Olisah Metuh, who addressed journalists after a closed door meeting that lasted for four hours at the banquet hall of the Abia State Government House, Umuahia, said that the leaders of South-East PDP demand that the allocation of new polling units be suspended with immediate effect.

The party also requested for the extension of registration of voters by INEC, as they considered this to be of higher priority as the country prepares for its general election in 2015.

They also commended President Goodluck Jonathan and the Federal Ministry of Health on the efforts made so far to curtail the outbreak of the Ebola disease in Nigeria and resolved to support him as a presidential candidate in the 2015 Election.

Efforts In Containing Ebola Have Been Fantastic- Soyinka

EbolaThe Ogun State Commissioner for Health, Mr Olaokun Soyinka on Saturday commended the efforts of the Federal and Lagos State governments in containing the spread of  Ebola Virus Disease in Nigeria.

He said the efforts have been “fantastic”, adding that “if you read the media reports there is a lot of good words being said about the Lagos State response; about the speed at which it was picked up and the subsequent response involving Federal Government, partners to support Lagos.

“I think we have seen real team work and the coming together of real expertise”, he said.

He however noted that “containing such epidemics is all about prevention; it is all about the robustness of your basic health care system” adding that “that is why Ebola has got us all nervous because we are still trying to get our health systems back on their feet”.

Dr Soyinka also hoped that “after the thing (Ebola outbreak) has died down, we will have a lasting positive effect, because everybody has seen that we are vulnerable on all these things that we take for granted and we have to put things in place”.

With the proximity of the state to the epicenter of the outbreak in West Africa and Lagos, Dr Soyinka said, the state government began sensitising health officials after a suspected case of the disease was reported in Ghana.

He added that state has learnt from the experience of Lagos, where the first Ebola case was recorded in Nigeria. This experience, according to him, has put the state on alert in case of any eventualities.

“We have not only been training our health care staff and giving them reminders of what this disease is like, what it presents and what to do, we have also set up three isolation units, buy in the necessary protective gears”, he said.

He further added that the centres are located in the three senatorial districts of the state, insisting that “these resource that we have put in place will remain assets that will strengthen the healthcare system of the areas they are situated and the state at large, “even after the scare of the outbreak has been contained”.

Dr Soyinka commended the efforts of First Consultants Medical Centre in diagnosing the disease within 24 hours, adding that “surveillance and picking it up is the key, because it reduces the number of contacts” and allows for “early treatment and care which has shown reduces the death rate”.

The Minister of Health, Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu, confirmed the two new cases of the Ebola, who are spouses of dead victims of the disease and are currently been treated in lagos.

This brings the total number of cases, including the index case to 14, with five deaths and five survivors, while four are currently being treated.

The Federal Government also has approved the release of N200m to the Lagos State in the efforts aimed at containing the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease, seperate from the N1.9 billion intervention fund approved by President Goodluck Jonathan.

As part of measures to curb the Ebola spread, states government have embarked on sensitization programme to help educate Nigerians about the disease and how to prevent it.

WHO Commends Nigeria’s Efforts In Containing Ebola 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) had last week commended efforts made in containing the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease in Nigeria.

A comment posted on their website

said “the situation in Lagos, Nigeria, where the first imported case was detected in July, looks reassuring”.

It further noted that “Intensive contact tracing, conducted by Nigerian health officials and staff from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has not, so far, identified any further confirmed cases outside the initial transmission chain.

“The intensity of the search and monitoring effort raises cautious optimism that further spread of the virus in Nigeria can be stopped. The search for additional cases continues, as does the current high level of vigilance”,

“At present, the city’s 12 confirmed cases are all part of a single chain of transmission”, it said.

Ebola Deaths In West Africa Reaches 1,427

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said on Friday, that the Ebola epidemic in West Africa has led to 1,427 deaths out of 2,615 known cases.

In its latest update, the WHO reported 142 new laboratory-confirmed, probable or suspected cases and 77 more Ebola deaths from four affected countries – Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone.

Earlier, the WHO said that the scale of the world’s worst Ebola outbreak had been concealed by families hiding infected loved ones in their homes and the existence of “shadow zones” that medics cannot enter.

It is due to issue a global strategy plan towards the end of next week in Geneva.

 

Ebola-Hit Countries Must Screen All Departing Travellers – WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday that authorities in countries affected by Ebola should check people departing at international airports, seaports and major border crossings and stop anyone with signs of the virus from travelling.

The U.N. health agency reiterated that the risk of getting infected with Ebola on an aircraft was small, as infected people are usually too ill to travel, and said that the risk is also very low to travellers in affected countries, namely Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

There was no need for wider travel or trade restrictions, the WHO said in a statement.

“Affected countries are requested to conduct exit screening of all persons at international airports, seaports and major land crossings, for unexplained febrile illness consistent with potential Ebola infection.

Any person with an illness consistent with EVD (Ebola Virus Disease) should not be allowed to travel unless the travel is part of an appropriate medical evacuation.

If a traveller has stayed in areas where Ebola cases have been reported recently, he or she should seek medical care at the first sign of illness – fever, headache, sore throat, diarrhoea, vomiting, among other symptoms,” the WHO said, noting that “early treatment can improve prognosis.”

Countries that do not have Ebola cases must strengthen their capacity to detect and contain any cases immediately, the WHO said, but it did not recommend any active screening of arriving passengers.

“It is better if countries do screening on the front-end,” WHO spokesman, Gregory Hartl, said.

Nigerian Woman Suspected Of Ebola Dies In UAE

ebola-health-workers
Ebola-health-workers

The national airline of the United Arab Emirates, Etihad Airways, said on Monday that it has disinfected one of its planes after health authorities there announced that a Nigerian woman who died after flying in to the capital, Abu Dhabi, may have been infected with the Ebola virus.

The health authority in Abu Dhabi said in a statement carried by state news agency, WAM, that the 35-year-old woman was traveling from Nigeria to India for treatment of advanced metastatic cancer.

Her health was said to have deteriorated while in transit at Abu Dhabi International Airport. The statement added that as medics were trying to resuscitate her, they found signs that suggested a possible Ebola virus infection.

The health authority noted, however, that her preexisting medical condition also could have explained her death.

The health authority statement added that medical staff treating the woman followed safety and precautionary measures in line with World Health Organization guidelines.

The woman’s husband, who was the only person sitting next to her on the plane, as well as five medics who treated her, are being isolated pending test results on the deceased woman.

All are in good health and show no symptoms of the illness, according to health officials.

Etihad Airways, the UAE’s national carrier, said that the plane was disinfected in line with guidelines laid out by the airline industry’s main trade group.

It said it continues to monitor the situation and is working with health authorities “to ensure the implementation of any and all measures necessary to ensure the safety and well-being of its passengers and staff.”

Four Additional Ebola Patients Discharged – Health Minister

ebola-outbreak-in-ugandaThe Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, has said that four additional confirmed cases of Ebola Virus Disease, who have been managed successfully and are now disease free, have been discharged.

Those discharged are two male medical doctors and one female nurse.

The three participated in the treatment of the index case while the fourth person was a female patient at the time the index case was on admission.

This brings to five, the total number of patients diagnosed with Ebola Virus Disease who have now been discharged from hospital.

Group Takes Ebola Campaign To Markets In Lokoja

EbolaFederal and state governments have been asked to take the awareness campaign of Ebola diseases to the market square so as to educate the less privileged people on the danger and preventive methods of the dreaded disease.

The Chairperson of Nightingale Less Privileged Care Foundation, a Non Governmental Organization(NGO) based in Lokoja, Hajia Hassanat Umar, the made this statement while sensitizing the people in market places on the need to take hygiene very important.

The NGO, formed by nurses from the Federal Medical Center Lokoja, is aimed at reaching out to the public on how to take preventive measure against the dreaded Ebola disease.

Some of the market women who spoke to Channels Television said they were not aware of the dreaded diseases until now, while others said they were happy with the enlightement campaign.

Hajia Hassanat Umar said the organisation chose the markets because it is one  of the places you can find the less privileged, the poor and large number of people to educate at once, urging the federal and state governments to do the same .

The State Commissioner for Health, Dr Idris Omede, while commending the effort of the group, also took time to explain some of the measures the Kogi State Government has put in place as a preventive measure in case a casualty is found in the state.

First Nigerian Patient Discharged From Hospital

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, on Saturday declared the first Nigerian Ebola patient fit and has been discharged from hospital.

 Professor Chukwu told journalists in Lagos that the patient, whose identity has not been revealed, was asked to go home after all the necessary medical examinations were carried out.

“The total number of Ebola cases now stands at 12, while the number of deaths remains four. The people under surveillance in Lagos is now 189, while six are in Enugu, in southeast Nigeria,” Professor Chukwu said.

The minister also announced that the drug, Nano Silva, which was thought could be used to treat Ebola patients in Nigeria, was said not to have met the requirements of the National Health Research ethics code.

Ebola Virus: Abia Govt. Organises Sensitization Campaign For Civil Servants

Ebola virus Following the outbreak of Ebola Virus in Nigeria, the Abia State Government has organized a one-day sensitization and enlightenment campaign on Ebola disease for all the civil servants in the state.

This was to create more awareness on precautionary measures as well as attitudinal change towards handling things that involve mucus membranes of the body.

The Director, Public Health and Disease Control, State Ministry Of Health, Franklin Orji, disclosed that the campaign would ensure that Abia civil servants are equipped with adequate and genuine information concerning the diseases. It would also give information about how to check its spread from one person to another.

Some of the civil servants, after the seminar, disclosed that they had learnt a lot concerning the spread, symptoms and preventive measures of the Ebola Virus and promised to put it to work.

Some of them also shared how they intend to put the recommendations to work in their offices and homes.

In the mean time, prevention and careful precautionary measures might be the most effective and needed tools to minimize the spread of Ebola Disease.

The event was a collaborative effort by the State Government and stakeholders in the health sector.