World Bank Mobilizes $400Million Aid For Ebola-Hit Countries

world_bankThe World Bank is mobilizing 400million US dollars package for the countries hardest hit by the Ebola virus disease.

Addressing a news conference in Abuja, the World Bank Country Director, Ms Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, warned that if the virus continues to surge in the three worst affected countries, its economic impact could grow eight fold.

She advised Nigeria that it is not yet time for complacency and urged authorities to ensure that the containment persists.

Since the announcement by the Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu that Nigeria has no single case of Ebola, Nigerians have heaved a sigh of relieve.

However, in spite of this, the World Bank, which continues to support countries battling the scourge of the highly contagious disease, announced plans to nearly double funding to end the health crisis but warned that it is not yet time for authorities and all Nigerians to relax.

Nigeria, according to the World Bank, has not benefited from the bank’s aid response because of the immense success recorded so far, but health specialists underscored that the government still has a lot to guard against.

Ebola: Health Minister Says No More Contacts Under Surveillance

Onyebuchi Chukwu on Ebola Virus.Nigeria no longer has any Ebola contacts under surveillance, the Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, said on Wednesday.

Professor Chukwu told a gathering at the on-going 69th UN General Assembly in New York that all contacts had completed 21 days of observation and had been discharged.

Those discharged include the remaining 25 Ebola contacts located in Port Harcourt area, he said.

As it stands, the total number of confirmed Ebola Virus Disease cases recorded in Nigeria remains 19, with 12 survivors and seven deaths.

The virus was brought into Nigeria in July by a Liberian-American man, Patrick Sawyer, who died on July 25 at a hospital in Lagos.

His death triggered surveillance and isolation of primary contacts in Lagos to contain the spread of the virus.

Six more deaths were, however, recorded both in Lagos and Port Harcourt, with the Port Harcourt cases resulting after a contact under surveillance left Lagos for Port Harcourt without authorisation.

The World Health Organization has commended Nigeria’s effort in containing the virus in a city like Lagos with over 20 million population.

France To Set Up Military Hospital To Fight Ebola In West Africa

Ebola
French President Francois Hollande addresses a news conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris, September 18, 2014.

France will set up a military hospital in West Africa in the coming days as part of France’s contribution to the fight against the Ebola outbreak there, President Francois Hollande said on Thursday.

Hollande said that France’s response to the outbreak would not be limited to a financial contribution to European funds being made available to fight the virus, which the World Health Organization said on Thursday had claimed 2,630 lives so far.

“I have therefore taken the decision to set up a military hospital in the coming days in … the forests of Guinea, in the heart of the outbreak,” Hollande said during a news conference.

Death toll in West Africa Ebola epidemic has reached 2,630 in the worst outbreak of Ebola virus in history, which has so far infected at least 5,357 people in West Africa, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.

“The upward epidemic trend continues in the three countries that have widespread and intense transmission – Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone,” the United Nations health agency said.

In a separate Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, 40 deaths had been reported out of 71 cases by Sept. 15, the WHO said.

Death Toll In West Africa Ebola Epidemic Reaches 2,630 – WHO

EbolaAt least 2,630 people have died in the worst outbreak of Ebola virus in history, which has so far infected at least 5,357 people in West Africa, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.

In an update on the epidemic, which is raging through Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia and has spread into Nigeria and Senegal, the WHO said there were no signs yet of it slowing.

“The upward epidemic trend continues in the three countries that have widespread and intense transmission – Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone,” the United Nations health agency said.

Those three countries account for the vast majority of cases and deaths in the outbreak – 8 others have died in Nigeria, out of 21 cases, and one case has been confirmed in Senegal.

The WHO said a surge in Ebola in Liberia is being driven primarily by a continued increase in the number of cases reported in the capital, Monrovia, where 1,210 bed spaces were needed, five times the current capacity.

The WHO has said it hopes to be able to “bend the curve” in the almost exponential increase in cases within three months.

The latest data updated five days of data for Liberia and one day for the other countries, and showed no new deaths in Sierra Leone since the previous update.

The WHO said efforts to integrate various sources of data in Liberia would lead to many cases being reclassified and about 100 previously unreported cases had been found and would be included in later updates.

In a separate Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, 40 deaths had been reported out of 71 cases by Sept. 15, the WHO said.

Nigeria Is Now Ebola Free – Health Minister

Onyebuchi Chukwu on Ebola Virus.The Nigerian Health Minister has told the Federal Executive Council that there is “no single case of Ebola” in the nation.

Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu gave the positive report while briefing reporters on the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak containment at the end of the Federal Executive Council Meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday.

According to him, the suspected case from Ife has been declared Ebola free while the south African woman, who was also quarantined, had no case of Ebola and has been moved to her country.

The Minister also said that in all, the total number of contacts was 363.

Of this number, four are in Lagos while the rest are in Rivers State.

He said that the total number of cases discharged from surveillance since the importation of the disease into Nigeria was 517 monitored without any problems.

Since the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa in March, over 2,400 deaths have been recorded.

Ebola Virus Disease: Number Of Confirmed Cases Stands At 19

EbolaThe total number of confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease in Nigeria stands at 19, 15 of which are in Lagos and four in Port Harcourt, and that’s according to the Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu.

The 19th case, according to the Minister is the fiancé of one of the primary contacts with Mr Sawyer who died of the disease.

The test results of the said case were unclear but further tests established the disease with only mild symptoms which he has since recovered from.

The Minister added that he was quarantined but because of the initial nature of his test results, he was not placed on active treatment.

The Minister further revealed that the total number of deaths from the Ebola virus disease in Nigeria stands at seven, five of which happened in Lagos and the other two in Port Harcourt, while the total number of patients who have been successfully managed and discharged stands at nine.

The latest is the sister of the Port Harcourt doctor who was discharged from the isolation ward in Rivers State on Sunday .

At the moment only one person, the wife of the Port Harcourt doctor, is on treatment in the isolation ward in Lagos and the Minister says she no longer has any symptoms and is undergoing series of tests preparatory to her discharge from the isolation ward this week.

Regarding contacts currently under surveillance in Lagos, the minister said that there were 27 contacts still under surveillance while a total of 339 contacts, who were previously on surveillance, have been discharged having completed 21 days of observation,.

However, in Port Harcourt, 477 contacts are under surveillance.

The Minister has urged countries around the world to desist from profiling individuals from countries currently grappling with the Ebola virus.

Health Officials Commence Appraisal Of Residency Training Programme

 Residency Training ProgrammeThe Federal Government has announced plans to fashion out a residency training programme that would meet the ideals of the system and contribute effectively to the country’s health sector.

The Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, announced the plan at a meeting with health professionals in Abuja.

The meeting was convened to critically appraise the Residency Training Programme in the country and make recommendations to improve it.

Even though the suspension initially imposed by the Federal Government has been lifted, Government said that there was a great need to appraise the programme to tackle some of the challenges observed in the programme.

Health management officials, therefore, gathered to help government come up with key recommendations on the issue.

One of the participants from the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Shuaib Oyedokun, expressed belief that the appraisal would help greatly in addressing pressing challenges facing the residency training programme.

Patricia Osemwenkha from the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital Benin City, also expressed optimism that the resident doctors would welcome the effort to improve the training programme.

Nigeria’s health sector has witnessed a lot developments in recent weeks, from the prolonged strike by medical doctors, to the suspension of the residency training programme in the country.

However, some of those at the meeting said that the appraisal should also extend to other arms of the health sector, to ensure the needed transformation of the country’s health sector.

 


 

Minister Defends Postponement Of Schools’ Resumption Date

onybuchi chukwu2Nigeria’s Health Minister, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, has defended the postponement of resumption date of schools to October 13, saying it is a precautionary measure against the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease.

After the weekly cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Professor Chukwu told a press conference that there was no need to move from panic to euphoria just yet at the news of the successful containment of the Ebola Virus Disease, as the nation still had one Ebola case left to confront.

The Minister said more education was necessary in the containment, pointing out, however, that the Ebola virus was not Nigeria’s greatest killer.

Before the postponement of the resumption date, schools were initially expected to re-open for the 2014/2015 academic session in the second week of September, but the need to successfully stop the spread of the virus prompted the postponement.

Professor Chukwu said: “Nigeria would take no such risk”.

It is not yet Uhuru, according to the Health Minister.

In spite of the successful containment, which simply means there’s now an area of concentration, there’s still one more case to tackle.

The Minister assured Ngierians that the government would not ban mass gatherings, but urge Nigerians to apply huge caution at events.

Not until the ministry gives a clean bill of health to all contacts, postponement of resumption of schools and training of staff in the various organisations should be strictly adhered to.

Ebola: FG Says Number OF Confirmed Cases Are 13

Minister_of_Health_Professor_Onyebuchi_ChukwuThe Federal Government on Monday reversed the number of confirmed Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) cases in Nigeria from 14 to 13.

The Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, reeled out the information at a briefing in Abuja on Monday.

This development, according to Professor Chukwu, followed the outcome of a further confirmation test conducted on the 14th case, which later turned out to be negative and was promptly discharged.

He added that another patient in the isolation centre after receiving intensive treatment had tested negative and would be discharged before Wednesday.

He said: “This will now bring to two, the number of patients in the isolation ward from the initial four”.

The Minister also clarified that the number of deaths recorded so far in the country as a result of the disease still remained five, including the Late Patrick Sawyer who imported the EVD to Nigeria from Liberia.Ebola

“We have been able to manage and discharge five persons who had tested positive to the deadly virus, while the sixth person would be discharged within the next 48 hours.

“For each case that tested negative, we run further confirmatory tests to make sure that anybody that is labelled as EVD victim, is truly having the disease,” Professor Chukwu said.

“The 14th case has turned out to be negative in terms of anaemia and symptoms, so that has now reversed number of EVD cases in Nigeria from 14 to 13 and that includes the index case (Sawyer).

“As at today, we have three patients receiving treatments in the isolation ward in Lagos but certainly, before Wednesday, one of them would be discharged because he has tested negative and we are now concluding his discharge process.”

WHO Commends Nigeria’s Efforts In Containing Ebola

Ebola patient Held By health workersThe World Health Organisation (WHO) has 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.

United States Donates Body Scanners

Meanwhile, the Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, said the United States government has donated 30 body scanners for screening at airports and border areas.

He said the donation was following the meeting President Goodluck Jonathan held with the United States President to fashion out ways of checking the spread of the virus.

The Nigerian President had approved an intervention fund of 1.9 billion Naira last week to help contain the spread of the virus that has claimed the lives of five persons in Lagos state, the only state with reported cases of Ebola.

Ebola was first reported in Nigeria in July, when a Liberia-American man, Patrick Sawyer tested positive to the virus.

Sawyer died on July 25.

FEC Approves 200 Million Naira To Tackle Ebola

FECThe Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the sum of 200 million Naira to support the Lagos State government in tackling the Ebola Virus Disease that has killed at least 1,200 persons since its outbreak in the West African region early this year.

Announcing the donation after the council meeting on Wednesday, the Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, who joined the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, to brief reporters on the outcome of the meeting, said the donation was coming at a time the United States government also donated 30 body scanners for screening at airports and border areas.

He said the donation was following the meeting President Goodluck Jonathan held with the United States President to fashion out ways of checking the spread of the virus.

The Nigerian President had approved an intervention fund of 1.9 billion Naira last week to help contain the spread of the virus that has claimed the lives of five persons in Lagos state, the only state with reported cases of Ebola.

Ebola was first reported in Nigeria in July, when a Liberia-American man, Patrick Sawyer tested positive to the virus.

Sawyer died on July 25.

Also at the meeting, members of the council were told that only five cases of polio had been reported this year as against the over 20 cases reported last year.

The Council expressed happiness over the efforts made towards the eradication of polio.

Meanwhile, the FEC awarded contract to the tune of 31 billion Naira for the evacuation of the over 40 megawatts of power from the Kashimbila dam in Taraba State.

Nigeria Reports One More Ebola Case, 11 In Total

Ebola virus diseaseThe Federal Government has confirmed 11 cases of Ebola, after a doctor who treated the Liberian man who brought the disease to Lagos fell ill.

The Health Minister, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, told a news conference in Abuja on Thursday that a medical doctor who had primary contact with the late Patrick Sawyer has been confirmed to have contracted the Ebola virus disease.

A member of staff of West African regional economic body, ECOWAS, this week became the third person in Nigeria to die of the disease.

Eight (others) are still alive, more than half of them are doing very well and actually showing signs of recovery … under treatment,” Prof Chukwu said.

The Health Minister added that 15 out of the 21 persons under surveillance for Ebola virus in Enugu State, after a nurse who ignored surveillance restrictions fled Lagos to Enugu State, have been cleared and freed by the Ministry of Health.

According to Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, only six out of the 21 earlier placed on surveillance actually had contact with the nurse.

The six, who had contact with the nurse, are now under surveillance with restrictions to movements for 21 days, to see if any would develop the symptoms for the virus.

In all, Nigeria now has 169 persons who had secondary contacts with those being quarantined for developing symptoms of the Ebola virus.

The World Health Organization has called this Ebola outbreak, whose worst affected countries include Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, an international emergency. It has killed around 55 to 60 percent of those who have contracted the disease.

Meanwhile, the Straits Times , a Singapore based newspaper, said on Thursday that a Nigerian woman sent to a Singapore hospital isolation unit does not have Ebola as initially suspected.

The Chief Executive of the government hospital where the woman was sent, Philip Choo, said that it was a false alarm and the woman had been discharged.

The woman, in her 50s, was believed to have flown into Singapore recently and arrived at a hospital emergency department with a fever.

According to the World Health Organisation, the world’s worst outbreak of Ebola has claimed the lives of 1,069 people and there are 1,975 probable and suspected cases, the vast majority in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

There have been no confirmed cases in Asia.