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.

Jonathan Declares National Emergency On Ebola

ebola-doctorsPresident Goodluck Jonathan has declared the control and containment of the Ebola virus in Nigeria, a National Emergency, a spokesman for the President, Reuben Abati, said on Friday.

In a statement by the spokesman, President Jonathan directed the Federal Ministry of Health to work in collaboration with the State Ministries of Health, the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and other relevant agencies to ensure that all possible steps were taken to effectively contain the threat of the Ebola Virus in line with international protocols and best practices.

President Jonathan also approved a Special Intervention Plan and the immediate release of 1.9 billion Naira for its implementation, to further strengthen on-going steps to contain the virus.

The fund would be used for the establishment of additional isolation centres, case management, contact tracing, deployment of additional personnel, screening at borders and the procurement of required items and facilities.

The President commended the vigilance of aviation and health authorities in Lagos who identified and isolated the index case in Nigeria, the late Patrick Sawyer, an American-Liberian who flew into the country.

He also applauded the good work of health authorities at both State and Federal levels who had traced persons who had contact with him, isolated other identified cases and embarked on massive public enlightenment.

President Jonathan called for even greater vigilance and co-operation at all levels to stop the Ebola Virus from spreading further.

The effective implementation of the Federal Government’s Special Intervention Plan will require other stakeholders to take certain precautionary steps that are supportive of the government’s initiative.

Patriotic Call To Duty

The President also advised Nigerians to follow all directives by health authorities and report any suspected Ebola case to the nearest health facility for immediate medical attention.

He also enjoined the public to desist from spreading false information about Ebola which can lead to mass hysteria, panic and misdirection, including unverified suggestions about the prevention, treatment, cure and spread of the virus.

“The movement of corpses from one community to the other and from overseas into the country should be stopped forthwith. Every death should be reported to the relevant authorities, and special precautions should be taken in handling corpses.

“Religious and political groups, spiritual healing centres, families, associations and other bodies should, in the meantime, discourage gatherings and activities that may unwittingly promote close contact with infected persons or place others at risk.

“Public enlightenment agencies, including privately-owned media organs should support government’s efforts and disseminate correct information in all Nigerian languages, about preventive personal hygiene measures, the nature of the Ebola virus, modes of transmission and consequential steps that should be taken in the event of infection,” the President emphasised.

President Jonathan also appealed to State governments and private day care, nursery, primary and secondary schools owners to consider the option of extending the current school holiday until a national reassessment of the level of the Ebola threat is conducted.

To increase the awareness, the National Emergency Management Agency and similar agencies at the state level are to strengthen their public enlightenment campaigns and use their networks to distribute hand sanitisers and other protective items nationwide.

Aviation and health authorities are to embark on immediate intensification of the screening of travellers at all the nation’s borders.

The President reassured everyone that the Government of Nigeria would continue to take every step, deploy all resources, and mobilise every support and assistance to check the spread of Ebola in the country.

While the government is trying to contain the spread of the disease, there is a shortfall of health workers, as the National Medical Association has been on strike for over a month.

President Jonathan, however, urged medical workers and other health professionals to regard the declaration of the National Emergency as a patriotic call to duty and service.

The Nigerian government had earlier requested for the unapproved drug for the treatment of Ebola from the United States.

Two deaths have been recorded so far in Nigeria as a result of the Ebola Virus, with two more cases reported on Friday.

Eight Persons Suspected To Have Contracted Ebola Virus Quarantined

ebola-outbreak-in-uganda

A Lagos doctor who treated the Liberian man that died few days ago of Ebola Virus has tested positive to the Virus, Nigeria’s Minister of Health said on Monday.

The minister broke the news on Monday during the inauguration of a treatment research group for Ebola in Nigeria .

According to the Minister, 70 people are now placed under surveillance while eight people would be quarantined on Monday for developing symptoms of the disease.

Apart from taking those steps, the government has also set up a treatment research group, that will carry out treatment research, receive and verify treatment claims as well as advise government on issues relating to Ebola virus in Nigeria.

The group which is co-chaired by Professor Shingu Gamaliel and Professor Innocent Ujah also has Maurice Iwu, a Professor of Pharmacognosy and officials from the Centre for Disease Control as members.

The minister advised the public to be wary of treatment claims including the use of bitter-cola as most treatment findings are still in their laboratory stages.

There is currently no known cure for Ebola virus in the world, but medical experts say efforts are on to find a remedy to the disease that has claimed over seven hundred since its out-break this year.

 

Ebola: NCAA Screens Passengers, Suspends Asky Airline Over Virus

askyNigeria’s Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) said it had started screening passengers arriving from places at risk from Ebola and had suspended Pan-African Airline, Asky, for bringing the first case to Lagos.

The Federal Ministry of Health’s Port Service Director, Sani Gwarzo, urged aviation stakeholders to be abreast of the dangers posed by the virus. It has been reported that Port Health officials have been deployed in Lagos and Abuja airports’ arrival halls to test passengers for symptoms of Ebola.

“Screening and monitoring is being done at all major airports. It entails checking passengers’ temperatures with a hand-held machine,” NCAA spokesman, Sam Adurogboye, said. He added that this was meant for any journey that passed through Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone.

A compulsory blood test would follow if the passenger’s temperature gave cause for concern, he said.

International Airlines Association said that the World Health Organisation was not recommending any travel restrictions or border closures due to the outbreak, and says there would be a low risk to other passengers if an Ebola patient flew.

A consultant for Liberia’s Finance Ministry, Patrick Sawyer, in his 40s, collapsed on arrival at the Lagos airport on July 20 on an Asky flight.

He was put in isolation at the First Consultants Hospital in Obalende, one of the most crowded parts of the city, but died early on July 25.

“We have suspended Asky until they are able to show us what measures they have put in place for passengers to ensure they do not bring Ebola,” Adurogboye said.

Authorities were monitoring 59 people who were in contact with Sawyer, including airport contacts, and had been seeking to make contact with all passengers that were on his flight. The latest outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever began in the forests of remote Eastern Guinea in February.

It starts with headaches and fever, and final stage symptoms include external and internal bleeding, vomiting and diarrhea.

Sierra Leone declared a State of Emergency and called in troops to quarantine epicenters of Ebola on Thursday.

Ebola has been blamed for 729 deaths in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, according to the World Health Organization. One died in Lagos, a crowded city of 21 million people.