Ebola: Reps Call For Compensation For Medical Victims

Human TraffickingThe House of Representatives in Nigeria has urged the Federal and State governments concerned to compensate the families of Dr. Stella Adadevoh and other health workers who died of the Ebola Virus Disease.

In plenary on Tuesday, a lawmaker, Olajumoke Okoya-Thomas, said that the gallant and patriotic role played by late Dr. Adadevoh and her team in curbing the spread of the disease in Nigeria deserved to be rewarded.

The house also observed a moment of silence in their honour and urged that the Nigerian government immortalises the late doctor by naming a medical institution in her honour.

Lawmakers also commended the Federal and State governments for the effective action taken to halt the spread of the disease.

Late Dr. Adadevoh played a major role in ensuring that the index patient,  a Liberian-American man, Patrick Sawyer, did not leave the hospital after he tested positive for Ebola virus.

The Nigerian president had dedicated Nigeria’s Ebola-free declaration by the World Health Organization on October 20 to health workers and to Nigerians.

Netherlands To Evacuate Two Doctors Who Had Contact With Ebola Victims

Ebola health workers.

Authorities in the Netherlands are preparing to evacuate two Dutch doctors who had unprotected contact in Sierra Leone with patients who later died of Ebola, a Dutch public health official said on Friday.

The two doctors have shown no symptoms of the virus but authorities believe there is cause for concern because they were not wearing full protective clothing when they came into contact with the patients..

“The two doctors’ personal protection should be considered inadequate. They could potentially have been exposed,” said Jaap van Dissel, director of the Dutch Centre for Infectious Disease Control.

The two doctors will be evacuated on a special flight to minimise the risk of contagion to other passengers and monitored closely on arrival, according to media reports.

“It’s only contagious if they have a fever,” van Dissel said, and added that if symptoms developed, the two would be placed in quarantine in a university hospital.

Dutch public television said the case was discovered when the doctors came to the Netherlands’ nearest embassy in Ghana after the patients they had been in contact with at the Lion Heart Medical Centre in Yaletown died of Ebola.

The clinic, which normally deals with cases of malaria, which has symptoms similar to Ebola, has since been shut down by authorities in Sierra Leone.

More than 2,400 people have died so far from Ebola in West Africa since the outbreak started in March, taking a particularly heavy toll among medical workers, more than 120 of whom have died of the disease as of late August, according to the World Health Organization.

Ebola: Lagos State To Prosecute Case Of Stigmatisation Of Treated, Discharged Patients

Jide_Idris_Lagos State Commissioner_For_HealthThe Lagos State Government has said that it would prosecute any person, group or organisation that stigmatises a patient who has been treated of the the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) and duly discharged.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, who made Government’s intention known while giving an update on the EVD in the State at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, directed any concerned person, who has experienced stigmatisation, to petition the Attorney-General of the State from where the Government would take up the case.

Idris noted that there had been one or two cases of such stigmatisation in the State,while pointing at the eviction of contacts or treated patients from their places of accommodation, such persons being asked to stay away from work or outright termination of employment of such persons.

He reiterated that infection by Ebola Virus Disease was not a death sentence and appealed to members of the public, including employers of labour, to desist from stigmatising persons or laying off their workers who either have been treated and given a clean bill of health or are contacts under surveillance, describing the action as unfair and an infringement on their fundamental right to freedom of association and employment.

Click here to read the full text of the Lagos State government’s statement.




American Doctor Recounts Ebola Hell

Kent_Brantly2The American doctor who made a miraculous recovery from a battle with Ebola has spoken out in his first sit-down interview while recovering at home with his wife and three children.

The physician said that he first started feeling symptoms of the disease at the end of July, when he came down with a low fever that made him feel ‘a little off, a little warm and a little under the weather’.

At first, he hoped it was malaria or dengue fever, but the results kept coming back negative until he was eventually tested for Ebola. The positive test means death for more than 90 per cent who catch the disease, but Dr Brantly said he never lost faith even when doctors started to fear he wouldn’t make it through the night.

The disease quickly took hold in Liberia, when he started struggling to breathe and his body was overcome with shaking and violent shivers.

‘And I said to the nurse who was taking care of me, “I’m sick. I have no reserve. And I don’t know how long I can keep this up.” And I said, “I don’t know how you’re going to breathe for me when I quit breathing.”

“Because that was the reality. I thought, I– I’m not gonna be able to continue breathing this way.” And they had no way to breathe for me if I had to quit breathing,” Dr Brantly recalled.

Hope finally arrived early last month, when Dr Brantly and fellow missionary worker Nancy Writebol, 59, were flown out of Liberia for treatment at Emory.

The two Americans were the first to receive ZMapp which helped them fight off the disease.

Within just a few weeks, both were discharged from the hospital after testing negative for Ebola in their blood.

Guinean Student Is First Case Of Ebola Confirmed In Senegal

Health Minister, Awa Marie Coll Seck, said a Guinean student in Senegal tested positive to the Ebola Virus.

Senegal, a major hub for the business and aid community in West Africa, became the region’s fifth country to confirm a case of Ebola on Friday after a student arrived from neighbouring Guinea carrying the disease.

Health Minister Awa Marie Coll Seck told a news conference that the young man had turned up for treatment at a hospital in the Senegalese capital Dakar on Tuesday but concealed that he had had close contact with victims in his home country.

She said Guinean authorities said the student from the Guinean capital, Conakry, had disappeared three weeks ago while under surveillance for having close contact with Ebola victims.

“The results of tests carried out by the Pasteur Institute in Dakar were positive (for Ebola),” the minister said.

The worst ever outbreak of the deadly virus, first detected in the jungles of southeast Guinea in March, has killed more than 1,550 people. Most of these were in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, but six people have also died in Nigeria.

Dakar is a regional hub for U.N. agencies and aid groups serving the Sahel region of West Africa. It also serves as a regional base for many companies, from financial services to banking and tobacco.

In an effort to insulate itself from the worst ever Ebola epidemic, Senegal announced last week it was closing its southern land border with Guinea. It also banned flights to and from Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, but not Nigeria.

EBOLA: Ivory Coast Closes Land Border

EbolaIvory Coast becomes the latest African country to close its land borders to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola Virus on to its territory.

Ivory Coast has closed its land borders with Ebola-affected West African neighbours; Guinea and Liberia, in an attempt to prevent the world’s deadliest outbreak of the virus from spreading onto its territory, the government announced.

A number of African nations have defied advice from the World Health Organization (WHO) and put in place restrictions on travel to and from the countries where Ebola has appeared, which also include Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

The Philippines on Saturday ordered 115 troops to return home from peacekeeping operations in Liberia due to the outbreak there.

Ivory Coast, French-speaking West Africa’s largest economy, had previously imposed a ban on flights to and from Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

“Faced with new outbreak sites and the reactivation of old sites…the Ivorian Government decides to close its land borders with sister republics Guinea and Liberia,” said a statement read on state-owned television late on Friday.

Liberia’s Nimba County, which shares a border with Ivory Coast, has seen the number of Ebola cases balloon in recent weeks. According to the head of Ebola case management at Liberia’s health ministry, Moses Massaquoi, 65 cases including 25 confirmed patients have now been reported there.

“The number of cases in Nimba has spiked recently and it is now an area of concern,” Massaquoi told Reuters.

Ebola has killed 1,427 people out of 2,615 known cases identified since the West Africa outbreak was first identified in Guinea in March, according to WHO figures released on Friday.

However, families hiding infected loved ones and the existence of “shadow zones” where medics cannot go mean that the true scale of the epidemic is unknown, the U.N. health agency said.

The WHO has repeatedly said it does not recommend travel or trade restrictions for countries affected by Ebola, saying such measures could heighten food and supply shortages.

WHO: West Africa Ebola Toll Passes 1,200

Ebola DoctorsThe World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday that cases in West Africa’s Ebola outbreak this year have risen to 2,240, including 1,229 deaths.

The WHO said it was working with the U.N.’s World Food Programme (WFP) to ensure food delivery to one million people living in Ebola quarantine zones in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The WFP is stepping up emergency food deliveries to the quarantined areas, which include severely-affected cities such as Gueckedou in Guinea, Kenema and Kailahun in Sierra Leone and Foya in Liberia.

“Food has been delivered to hospitalised patients and people under quarantine who are not able to leave their homes to purchase food. Providing regular food supplies is a potent means of limiting unnecessary movement,” the WHO said in a statement.

While Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and No. 1 oil producer, appears to be containing its smaller outbreak, Liberia and Sierra Leone are struggling to halt the spread of the deadly Ebola virus among their populations.

On Friday, these small two West African nations and a medical charity chided the WHO for its slow response, saying more action was needed to save victims threatened by the disease and hunger.

Bodies Dumped In Streets As West Africa Attempt To Curb Ebola

ebola 2The relatives of Ebola victims in Liberia resist government orders and dumped dead bodies in the street as West African government attempt to enforce measures to curb an outbreak of the virus that has killed at least 887 people.

Nigeria recorded its first death of Ebola in late July and according to the authorities in Lagos, eight people came in contact with the deceased Liberia-US citizen, Patrick Sawyer, were showing signs of the deadly disease.

The outbreak was detected in March in the remote forest regions of Guinea, where the death toll is rising in neighboring countries such as Sierra Leone and Liberia.

The authorities deployed troops to quarantine the border areas where 70 per cent of cases have been detected.

Those three countries announced a raft of tough measures last week to contain the disease, shutting schools and imposing quarantines on victim’s homes, amid fears the incurable virus would overrun healthcare systems.

In Liberia’s ramshackle ocean-front capital Monrovia, still scarred by a 1989-2003 civil war, relatives of Ebola victims were dragging bodies onto the dirt streets rather than face quarantine, officials said.

The Information Minister, Lewis Brown, said some people may be alarmed by regulations imposing the decontamination of victims’ homes and tracking of their friends and relatives.

With less than half of those infected surviving the disease, many Africans regard Ebola isolation wards as death traps.

They are therefore removing the bodies from their homes and are putting them out in the street and exposing themselves to the risk of being contaminated,” Brown said “We’re asking people to please leave the bodies in their homes and we’ll pick them up.”

According to Brown, authorities had begun cremating bodies on Sunday, after local communities opposed burials in their neighborhoods, and had carried out 12 cremations on Monday.

Meanwhile, in the border region of Lofa County, troops were deployed on Monday night to start isolating effected communities.

The Finance Minister said the country’s growth forecast for the year was no longer looking realistic as a result of the outbreak.

Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister, Samura Kamara, also said that the virus had cost the government $10 million so far and was hampering efforts to stimulate growth.