President Goodluck Jonathan has given approval for the Nigerian
Centre for Disease Control to support Ebola-ravaged countries of
Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone to build local capacity of health
workers to enhance response to the fight against Ebola Virus Disease.
Already, 250 Nigerian experts are set to be deployed in these countries
in the next few days. The number will constitute the first phase of the
506 Nigerian volunteers that have been identified and ready for
deployment in the West African countries ravaged by Ebola.
The Supervising Minister of Health, Dr. Khaliru Alhassan, who stated
this during a press briefing on Thursday in Abuja, warned that the
transportation of corpses was still banned in Nigeria except proper
clearance is obtained from the Ministry of Health.
He said, “It is important that I inform you all that we have identified
506 volunteers ready for deployment in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
The first contingent of 250 Nigeria experts will be deployed as soon as
possible after having concluded all necessary logistics under the watch
of World Health Organisation. In addition to this, I am happy to
announce that Mr. President has approved that our NCDC supports these
countries to build local capacity of health workers to enhance their
“Nigeria’s public health must not be taken for granted and we must not go to sleep and start resting on our oars.
“It should serve as a warning that this current outbreak of EVD still
presents a measured threat to Nigeria and the rest of the world until it
is contained and eliminated from all countries, particularly from the
West African sub-region.
“Without this, the possibility of a re-importation of EVD into Nigeria
remains high; thus it is not quite over yet. It is with this regard that
we have developed a Nigerian Ebola Preparedness Plan with all elements
to work with the states to activate their incident management systems,
to strengthen our national preparedness and be ready to respond to a
potential outbreak, should it occur again.”
Alhassan therefore appealed to all states to enhance their surveillance
system while the public should remain vigilant and immediately call the
Ebola helpline or seek immediate medical attention in the event of
suspected cases of sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle
pains, headache and sore throat.
He said, “To our health workers, who are the guard of this country, it
is no more business as usual in our outpatient departments, clinics and
operation theatres; we must raise our level of index of suspicion
because we are the first contact. It is no more business as usual in
handling routine cases.
“Transportation of corpses is still banned until duly cleared by the
Ministry of Health after receiving the required documents. Therefore, we
still appeal to Nigerians to be patient.”