The Federal Executive Council was on Wednesday told that Nigeria will soon be free from the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) scourge.
The Minister of Health Dr Onyebuchi Chukwu, who gave the council an update on the containment of the disease, said that Nigeria was having a final turnaround on Ebola, as no Nigeria was suffering from the disease.
Reeling out the statistics, Dr Chukwu said that only 19 cases was recorded so far since the the beak out of the virus and that there was no fresh case of EVD.
According to him, the total number of cases so far treated and discharged stands at 10, the last two cases being the sister of the Port Harcourt doctor who died. Seven deaths were recorded. .
The wife of the doctor has also been discharged, leaving the Lagos isolation ward empty.
The Minister told Nigerians to desist from rumour, but report any suspected case to the appropriate quarters.
On the controversy over the resumption of schools, the Minister said that it was irrational to shut down schools for so long, as there was no community outbreak of the disease.
A United Nation’s envoy appointed to coordinate the global response to the Ebola crisis said Monday that the fight against the epidemic was a “war” which could take another six months, and warned that airlines boycotting the region were hampering the response.
David Nabarro, a British physician that the United Nations has appointed to coordinate the global response to the crisis, was in Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown for the fifth day of a tour of the region.
“The effort to defeat Ebola is not a battle but a war which requires everybody working together, hard and effectively,” he told a news conference.
“I hope it will be done in six months but we have to do it until it is completed.”
“A Whole Lot Harder”
Nabarro said airlines halting flights to and from the countries that have been afflicted by the outbreak in West Africa were making the UN’s efforts “a whole lot harder”.
“By isolating the country, it makes it difficult for the UN to do its work,” he said.
Instead, he issued a “really strong request to everyone to help us find a way to continue having airlines fly into these capitals so that we can do our job properly”.
“Help us to know how we can do this and at the same time assure you that you are not exposed to risk,” he added.
UN officials have pledged to step up efforts against the lethal tropical virus, which has infected more than 2,600 and killed 1,427 in Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia and Nigeria this year.
People in Africa are becoming more aware of their importance to the rest of the world, as more and more investors are trooping to Africa as the destination of investment, with Nigeria topping the list of countries of interest.
To boost development in the African continent, the US held a summit with African leaders in the first week of August and several business and development partnerships were established.
Why the US? Is a question many have continue to ponder over.
Since China started partnering with African countries, the US’s investment relationship with the African continent has dropped and at the summit, it was obvious that there was need for more partnership between America and the continent.
At the first ever US-Africa Leaders Summit, hosted by President Barack Obama, over 40 African leaders sat to discuss the new partnership proposed by the US.
With the theme, “Investing in Africa’s Future” ringing through the US-Africa Business Forum, the US Government explained why the partnership would be a win-win situation for both sides.
“We don’t look to Africa simply because of its natural resources. We recognise Africa for its greatest resource which is its people and its talent and their potential.
“We don’t simply want to extract minerals from their ground for our growth, we want to build genuine partnership to create jobs and opportunity for all our peoples and then unleash the next era of African growth. That is the kind of partnership America offers,” President Obama said while addressing the leaders.
US Secretary of State, John Kerry, also stressed that Africa had the fastest growing economies in the world, and that with an anxiety to grab the future, America and Africa should do more together.
“We have to partner to invest in the next generation. To create good jobs for the young Africans, to build a stronger middle class, to provide families with clean power and clean water, to build societies where an open exchange of ideas and information are the defining hallmark,” Mr Kerry said..
Africa’s two main challenges have remained power and infrastructure development and millions have been spent to push the power sector and build infrastructures, but not much achievement has been made.
African leaders in the summit, however, maintained that they do not want the continent to be taken for granted.
“To put our view to the United State, we would want an extension of a goal so that we could have a better kind of relationship between us. We now have an experience that we can discuss better as to what we have to do to better, consolidate and enhance our relations,” South African President, Jacob Zuma, said, referring to the summit as an opportunity that came at the opportune time.
During a press briefing at the end of the summit, US President announced that the US and Africa would be partnering in health and security, two other areas posing huge challenges to Africa.
“The United States will provide additional equipment to African peacekeepers in Somalia and the Central African Republic. We will support the African Union’s efforts to strengthen its peacekeeping institutions and most importantly, we are launching a new African peacekeeping rapid response partnership, with the goal of quickly deploying African peacekeepers in support of UN or AU missions.
“We are looking forward to seeing all the great things you will do when you go back home,” Obama said, stressing the need for agreements to
Agreements have been reached and partnership has been entered into, but critics have stressed that until African governments tackle corruption no meaning growth or development may be recorded.
Ebola virus has continued to spread in Sierra Leone, Liberia and to a lesser extent in Guinea, with a combined 44 new cases and 21 deaths between July 6-8.
The latest figures released on Friday by the World Health Organization (WHO) brought the total in West Africa’s first outbreak of the deadly viral disease to 888 cases including 539 deaths since February, the United Nations agency said.
“The epidemic trend in Liberia and Sierra Leone remains precarious with high numbers of new cases and deaths being reported,” the WHO said.
Just one confirmed new case had been reported during the past week in Guinea, where the WHO said it was closely monitoring the situation.
There has been resistance among some communities to measures recommended to control the outbreak, such as precautions during traditional burial ceremonies.
Ebola causes vomiting and diarrhoea, impairs kidney and liver function and may cause internal and external bleeding. It kills up to 90 per cent of those infected and is spread by close contact with the blood, body fluids and tissues of infected people. There is no treatment or vaccine.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) set up an Ebola solidarity fund at a summit in the capital of Ghana on Thursday in a bid to back a regional approach to the epidemic. Nigeria committed $3.5 million to affected states.
“We must do everything within our means and power to defeat this deadly disease. We must exercise vigilance and caution and avoid any panic or misinformation,” Ghanaian President John Mahama, who is chairman of ECOWAS, said in a speech in Accra.