The Federal Government says it has reached out to the United States Centre for Disease Control to request for the unapproved drug ZMAPP, for the treatment of Ebola victims in Nigeria as the country continues its search for Ebola cure.
The Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku and the Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, told reporters after the Federal Executive Council meeting held in Abuja on Wednesday that the government was awaiting the response of the request it made last night to the centre in the US.
Professor Chukwu said that the council meeting presided over by the Vice President, Namadi Sambo, focused mainly on the measures being taken to contain the spread of the Ebola Virus in Lagos.
He said that the persons who had primary contact with the index Ebola victim have been traced and isolated.
According to the World Health Organization, the Ebola cure has not been found and the virus has claimed about 900 people in West Africa representing 60% of deaths caused by the virus in the world.
The disease, which has started spreading in Lagos State, was a major talking point at the FEC meeting,
The Minister stressed that the Ebola Virus was a national emergency, with everyone in the world at risk.
He confirmed that Nigeria had recorded it’s first indigenous case with the death of a nurse who was infected with the Ebola Virus while attending to the Liberian, Patrick Sawyer, who died on July 25.
“The Federal Government has reached out to the United States Centre for Disease Control, to request for the unapproved Ebola drug, ZMAPP, for the treatment of affected persons in Nigeria,” he said.
The Health Minister further said that the government had set up a special team for counselling and psychosocial support to patients, identified contacts and their families.
Mr Maku also advised Nigerians to be weary of quacks who would want to take advantage of the hapless victims.
The Minister of Information said the Federal Government was also set to recruit and deploy health personnel with attractive remuneration to Lagos to assist in the fight against the deadly virus.