Ebola Update: Fashola Gives N76m To First Consultant Hospital, Others

First consultantThe Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola has donated N50 million to First Consultant Medical Centre, Obalende, where the index case of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), was reported.

This was stated in a press release by the Ministry Of Health, which was signed by the Assistant Director, Press & Public Relations, Tunbosun Ogunbanwo.

The Governor also presented N26 million to all the 13 EVD casualties and survivors in the state to enable them carry on with their lives.

The Governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, at a brief cheque presentation ceremony held at the Ministry of Health’s Conference Room, Alausa commended the survivors for the roles they played in the containment of EVD, adding that the gesture goes to show that the State Government had not forgotten the sacrifices made by both survivors and casualties of EVD.

He explained that each of the 13 survivors and relatives of the dead victims would get N2 million each as government support for their humanitarian service during the containment, while the First Consultant Medical Centre, who bore the brunt of the outbreak of the disease would get N50 million.

He added that the State Government would also support the facility in any way it can to bring the facility back to business.

Fashola, who described the gesture as a support to the heroes and heroines of the Ebola-Free Nigeria, noted that it was not a compensation but an act of showing compassion for a group of highly patriotic Nigerians who rescued the nation from a deadly epidemic at their own expense.

According to Fashola, the outbreak and eventual containment of the disease was a phenomenon, adding that since the outbreak of EVD till date, Nigeria had only contributed 0.22% and 0.18% to the global burden of the suspected confirmed cases and deaths respectively.

The Governor added that the State Government is addressing some issues which emanates from the containment of the deadly disease stressing that these includes the issues of stigmatization, level of preparedness for outbreak of infectious diseases, upgrade of infectious disease hospital to handle any infectious disease and delving into research to contribute to the body of knowledge for EVD.

“We cannot compensate First Consultant Medical Centre fully for their losses. We want to show our appreciation to the facility, the survivors and families of the dead victims for their sacrifices that made containment of the disease possible.

“We would do all within our powers to bring the facility back on its feet and in business and re-secure the patronage of their customers.”

He concluded that the facility has been decontaminated and have been certified by the World Health Organization to be fit to return to the business of medical services stressing that he, including officials of the State Ministry have also visited the facility.

The Chief Medical Director of First Consultant Medical Centre, Benjamin Ohaeri, thanked the Governor and the State Government for the gesture stressing that this would restore hope and enliven the atmosphere at the hospital, as well as boost the morale of the personnel.

Also present at the ceremony were the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba; Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr. Wale Ahmed; Special Adviser to the Governor on Environment, Dr. Taofik Folami; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. ‘Modele Osunkiyesi and Permanent Secretary PHC Board, Dr. Kayode Oguntimehin.

Texas Health Care Worker Tests Positive For Ebola

EbolaAn American health worker in Texas, who provided care for the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the country has tested positive for the virus in a preliminary examination, an health official said on Sunday.

The most recent Ebola victim reported a low-grade fever on Friday night at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital and was isolated and referred for testing, the Texas Department of State Health Services said.

In a statement, the TDSHS said “We knew a second case could be a reality, and we’ve been preparing for this possibility,” said Dr. David Lakey, commissioner of the health service.

Liberian, Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, died in an isolation ward of the Dallas hospital on Oct. 8, 11 days after being admitted.

The U.S. Government has since ordered five airports to start screening passengers from West Africa for fever.

The number of people known to have died in the worst Ebola outbreak on record has risen to 4,033 out of 8,399 cases in seven countries, the World Health Organization said on Friday.

Liberia has been the worst affected country with 2,316 victims, followed by 930 in Sierra Leone, 778 in Guinea, eight in Nigeria and one in the United States, WHO said.

Demonstrating high competence in the way its Ebola containment was handled, Nigeria has overcome the Ebola Virus Disease and has not reported new cases since August 31.


Ebola Outbreak “Pretty Much Contained” In Senegal And Nigeria


The World Health Organization said on Monday that two of the five countries affected by the world’s worst ever Ebola outbreak are managing to halt the spread of the disease, although the overall death toll rose to 2,793 out of 5,762 cases.

A WHO statement said:”On the whole, the outbreaks in Senegal and Nigeria are pretty much contained,” and that there were no new deaths in Guinea, four in Sierra Leone and 39 in Liberia.

A separate Ebola outbreak has killed 40 people in Democratic Republic of Congo, where there have been 71 cases, it said in a statement on the situation as of September 18.

Ebola: Fashola Visits As First Consultants Hospital Reopens

fashola_visits_First_consultants_HospThe Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, on Friday, visited the First Consultants Hospital Obalende in Lagos, which has been certified ready for operation after the decontamination done for its treatment of the index Ebola patient, the Liberian-American, Patrick Sawyer.

Governor Fashola, briefing newsmen after the tour of the facility, said that his visit to the hospital was in order to identify with the staff on the way forward, adding that since the Ebola Virus Disease had been dealt with professionally, the way forward was to get on with life.

“It was also a doctor who just refused to give up on them, Dr. Davis, and this is the way it must be. Whether you are a journalist, a soldier, a police officer or a footballer, just do what you do with dedication and all will be well”, he said.

The Governor said the first stage of the containment process was to save lives while the second stage was to help affected businesses get up and run again.

He reiterated the need for members of the public to put the issue of EVD behind and get on with their lives.

“We (Nigerians) must not live in fear of what we do not know. We have dealt decisively, comfortably and professionally with what we know. Anything that comes out from the woodworks then we must confront it again and deal with it and resolve it,” he said.

Governor Fashola also told the Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Benjamin Ohiaeri, to articulate the equipment losses suffered by the hospital as a result of the decontamination after the death of the index case, with the view to assisting the hospital replace such equipment.

He, again, paid glowing tribute to the hospital staff, particularly the management, for the role they played in bringing the index case to the knowledge of the State Government instead of taking the easy way out. He added that if they had not insisted on detaining the patient, the story would have been devastatingly different.

Addressing the public, Governor Fashola said that everything relating to the issue of Ebola has been settled, adding that what remains was for the people to ensure that they take cleanliness very seriously by washing their hands regularly with soap and water.

The CMD, Dr. Ohiaeri, while regretting both the human and material losses suffered by the hospital as a result of the EVD infection from the index case, praised the Governor and the State Ministry of Health for their prompt response to the information on the index case, adding that although the Governor was on lesser hajj at the period, the Ministry acted promptly and professionally.

First Consultants Hospital was where the index case of EVD in the country, Mr. Patrick Sawyer from Liberia, was received and attended to on Sunday, July 20, 2014, after he was rushed from the Murtala Mohammed International Airport where he collapsed on arrival from his country.

He died at the hospital on Friday, July 25. As a result, the hospital was shut down and decontaminated later with some of the equipment destroyed as part of the decontamination process.

With the Governor during the visit were some members of the State Executive Council including the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris and his Special Duties counterpart, Dr. Wale Ahmed as well as other top government officials.

Schools’ Resumption Date Not Changing, FG, NMA Agree

Schools' resumptionNigeria’s Minister of Education, Ibrahim Shekarau, says the Federal Government was not influenced by private school owners to adopt the September 22 date for secondary and primary schools’ resumption.

The Minister was speaking during a meeting with the House Committee on Education and members of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) on the effect of the Ebola Virus Disease and the new resumption date for schools.

The House of Representatives Committee called the meeting due to concerns raised by some parents and groups who have questioned the decision of the Federal Government to have schools resume on September 22.

The Minister of Education explained why the date was selected and also wondered why some associations such as the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) disagreed with the date selected.

“It was a unanimous decision taken after a meeting with all state education commissioners and the health ministry. The ministry also wrote all state governors to give the directive more weight.

“At no point did anybody influence this decision. There were reports that the private sector influenced the decision. That is not true.”

The President of the Nigeria Medical Association, Dr. Kayode Obembe, however, spoke for the doctors.

The leadership of the medical association, which had earlier suggested that schools remained closed until all suspected Ebola cases are cleared, told the committee that the association now had nothing against the new schools’ resumption date announced by the Federal Government.

They, however, emphasized the need to focus on maintaining “highest level of vigilance” in the several entry points, resuscitating the infectious disease hospitals in states and ensuring comprehensive screening of travellers, among others as conditions that must be met by the Federal Government.

The NMA President also said; “All recent travellers to all the provinces of the current endemic countries of the Ebola disease, namely Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Sudan and Gabon, must be carefully scrutinized for the presence of the virus and epidemiologically treated accordingly.”

The Minister then gave assurances that the Federal Government would continue to monitor the situation closely and would not hesitate to take every necessary step to protect the Nigerian child.



Full Text: Press Statement On Resumption Of All Schools In Lagos State

1. Concerning the resumption of all public and private nursery, primary and secondary schools for the 2014/2015 session, Lagos State Government supports the September 22, 2014 date, which was announced by the Federal Government after a national consultation on efforts to contain the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Nigeria.

2. Although this resumption date is advisory, as education is a concurrent matter to be regulated by the respective Federal and States Authorities, Lagos State Government considers it eminently justifiable, in view of the fact that there is currently no known carrier of EVD in our State at the moment. Furthermore, the last individual suspected to have been exposed to the virus will be discharged from observation on September 18, 2014, if he tests negative for the virus. All public and private educational institutions in the State are therefore directed to schedule their resumption accordingly.

3. Considering the current situation report, it is clear that the risk of infection with EVD in Lagos State has been significantly reduced. Health professionals working on the outbreak are also in agreement that there is no reason why schools should remain closed beyond the 22nd of September, 2014.

4. In spite of the foregoing, the State Government has now developed and will deploy all resources necessary to sustain the capacity to promptly take into custody any person suspected to be infected with EVD, as well as safely test, monitor and isolate such a person for treatment as may be found necessary without endangering other members of the public.

5. We also acknowledge the need for everyone to remain very vigilant, as the disease still remains in other countries within the sub-region. The following steps will therefore be taken in all schools, whether public or private, before and after resumption of schools:

(a) Training and sensitization of students, vendors, teachers and non academic staff on EVD and how to avoid it;

(b) Identification of EVD Focal Persons in schools who would be responsible for surveillance and health monitoring;

(c) Provision of adequate environmental sanitation, including clean toilets and premises;

(d) Provision of running water and soap and encouragement of frequent hand washing;

(e) Sensitisation of students on other personal hygiene habits, like the use of handkerchiefs when sneezing or coughing; and

(f) Arrangement for prompt referral of any sick person to the nearest health institution for treatment.

7. In spite of the foregoing, the State Government reiterates that the health of all its residents is a matter of utmost importance and, if any reasons emerge for a reconsideration of the school resumption date, a well-considered decision will be taken and the general public will be informed accordingly.

  1. The State Government salutes the health personnel and health institutions that have done their best to ensure the containment of EVD. Government officials will meet presently with those health institutions, which might have suffered adverse economic consequences as a result, and will find ways of assisting them to mitigate their loses and safely reopen for business as soon as possible.


    Lateef Raji

    Special Adviser On Information And Strategy

    September 12, 2014

Ebola: Nigeria Must Create Legal Policy To Curb Stigmatization – Strategist

EbolaAn Economist and Communication Strategist, Dr. Olaniyi Ibidapo, says stigmatization is one of the effects of any outbreak of diseases which comes out of fear, misinformation or misrepresentation of situations.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, he stated that except Nigeria comes up with “a legal policy and awareness creation among the populace, stigmatization would be a serious problem in the future.”

With a background of having done extensive research in Communications strategies with a bias for Health communication, Ibidapo recommended “multidimensional, multifaceted approaches” in sensitizing the populace on the facts about the Ebola Virus.

He explained that this is based on the notion that “the more the approaches, the more the effect of realising the goal.

Most of these approaches are international templates that have not been adequately tested, so you cannot measure the effectiveness immediately. So you cannot rely on one approach,” he said.

Mass media, sensitization and training were among the approaches highlighted by Ibidapo but he noted that the community being involved remained an important feature in all the approaches.

He stated that the prevalence of the Ebola Virus Disease has been within the communities and “whatever the implementations you’re going to take on this Ebola outbreak, communities have to be involved.

When I mean communities, it has to be the religious organisations, the MDAs, the NGOs, the individuals and the corporate bodies. This is the big opportunity for the corporate bodies in Nigeria to take advantage of, because Ebola is everybody’s business now.”

Speaking further on the issue of Ebola stigmatization, Dr. Ibidapo stated that Nigeria would need to improve its health infrastructure as this would help the country.

However, he noted, “Ebola victims need to come out and let people know they are still alive. That is why policy implication has to start because when Government backs it up with a law – Ebola health policy – this will help us in identifying and recognizing that we could curb Ebola spread.”

While he appreciated the Nigerian culture, which he says is communal and does not necessarily encourage the idea of victims coming out, he maintained that an upgrade of Nigeria’s health infrastructure would help build some confidence.

He also highlighted the level illiteracy in Nigeria as another challenge. “The population is huge, a lot of people are educated but are they really informed?”

The Consultant refused to blame citizens for the discriminative attitude towards Ebola survivors as he admitted that indeed fear was responsible for this, but “with information we will understand that once it is cured, it is cured.”

He made reference to a Channels Television report which featured an Ebola survivor who has suffered stigmatization.

As we have seen, he is healthy, he is hale and he is active. The society needs to support him, the Government needs to back him up in terms of establishing a policy, making it a law and making sure that they prosecute any offender.

It is an offence to infringe on the other person’s human rights – rights of association and right to work. It is a serious offence within our system here.”

He called for support for the survivors of the EVD, with emphasis on the need for everybody to be involved.

OAU Ebola Scare: Female Student Tests Negative To EVD

OAU EbolaVice Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Prof. Bamitale Omole, has cleared the air surrounding the status of the female student of the institution who was suspected to have been a secondary contact ‎with Ebola Virus Disease.

He confirmed that she has tested negative to the deadly virus.

Speaking to newsmen in Ile-Ife in Osun state, Prof. Bamitale Omole made it clear that the lady who was sent to the Ebola Isolation Centre in Lagos for further clinical and laboratory investigation, has been certified and proved negative of the dreaded EVD .

Prof. Omole gave assurance that the institution would in no way stigmatize the student who is still out of town, more so when she has been clinically confirmed ‎free of the Ebola Virus.

On measures put in place to curtail the EVD, Prof. Omole said that foreign students have been asked not to resume yet, particularly the ones from Liberia, until the coast is clear.

He urged the people to go about their normal activities, assuring that the OAU Ebola Surveillance Committee would continue to maintain all precautionary measures to ensure that OAU remains Ebola Free.

Minister Tells FEC ‘Nigeria Will Be Free From Ebola Soon’

Ebola Health Workers.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.

Ebola Sensitisation Holds in Ondo State

ebola_virusThe Ondo State government has organised a workshop for major stakeholders in the health and other related sectors to sensitise them on proactive ways of handling the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).

The resource person at the workshop, a Consultant Epidemiologist, based in the UK, Dr. Femi Oshin, said that the workshop was organised to give adequate information to participants on the strategic response plan to the disease that has claimed over 1500 lives in West Africa.

He highlighted a summarised six level response plan to EVD from level zero to five.

These focused on the ongoing feasible threat from EVD, remote threat of EVD in West Africa, single case of EVD in Nigeria with containment achieved, multiple cases with containment failed, single case in Ondo State and lastly multiple cases of EVD in Ondo State.

Dr Oshin has gotten experience on Ebola from Liberia and Sierra Leone two countries mostly hit by the epidemic.

He said that after the training, stakeholders would in turn train other Primary Healthcare Coordinators at the local governments level.

The State Commissioner for Health, Dr Dayo Adeyanju, said the workshop was organised to educate the participants on EVD. No case of Ebola has been reported in Ondo State, but the government said it was necessary to educate health workers on how to tackle the disease ahead of time.

Nineteen cases of Ebola have been reported so far in Nigeria in Lagos and Rivers States.

Ebola Spread Is Exponential In Liberia, Thousands Of Cases Expected Soon – WHO

Ebola_VictimThe World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday that the Ebola virus is spreading fast in Liberia, where many thousands of new cases are expected over the coming three weeks.

“Transmission of the Ebola virus in Liberia is already intense and the number of new cases is increasing exponentially,” the WHO said in a statement.

The organisation noted that motorbike-taxis and regular taxis are “a hot source of potential virus transmission” because they are not disinfected in Liberia, where conventional Ebola control measures “are not having an adequate impact”.

The United Nations’ agency said aid partners needed to scale up efforts against Ebola by three-to-four fold in Liberia and elsewhere in West African countries battling the epidemic.

In Liberia, the disease has killed 1,089 people among 1,871 cases, the highest national toll, according to the WHO’s update of last Friday. Overall in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, 2,097 have died out of 3,944 cases.

Another 18 cases and seven deaths have been recorded in Nigeria and one non-fatal case in Senegal.

Fourteen of Liberia’s 15 counties have reported confirmed cases, the WHO said on Monday. As soon as a new Ebola treatment centre is opened, it immediately overflows with patients, “pointing to a large but previously invisible caseload”.

In Montserrado County, which includes the capital, Monrovia, and is home to more than one million people, a WHO investigative team estimated that 1,000 beds are urgently needed for Ebola patients, the statement said.

“The number of new cases is moving far faster than the capacity to manage them in Ebola-specific treatment centres,” it said. “Many thousands of new cases are expected in Liberia over the coming three weeks.”

All Schools To Resume On September 22 – FG

schools_waecThe Federal Government has directed all schools to resume on September 22.

The postponement of resumption date of schools to October 13, had been a precautionary measure against the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease.

However, the date has been shifted forward to September 22 following a review ordered by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

The FEC, recently ordered the Minister of Education, Mr Ibrahim Shekarau, to review the directive given to schools over their resumption, following the outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease in Nigeria.

More details to follow.