Thursday, 10 May 2018

Ebola Scare: FG Orders Surveillance At Nigeria Airports, Borders

Nigeria's Federal Executive Council (FEC), Wednesday directed the federal Ministry of Health to step up activities along all points of entry into the country to protect the country against the dreaded Ebola Virus.

This is just as government called on members of the public to be vigilant and take preventive measures to protect themselves against the dreaded disease

The measures were announced on Wednesday by the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, while briefing State House Correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting and following revelations of confirmation of the outbreak of the disease in the Congo Democratic Republic, where 16 persons have so far died

The disease also known as viral hemorrhagic fever had ravaged African countries including the Congo DR, Liberia and Sierra Leone between 2013 and 2014.

The Minister said government is stepping up preventive measures including the setting up of ” emergency operation center which will be chaired by Dr. Babasanya, who led a team of Nigerian physicians efforts in Liberia and Sierra Leone and Guinea during the outbreak in 2014″

“Not only that, we will be screening incoming passengers, particularly passengers from DRC and neigbouring countries. We will also ensure we step up all activities screening people coming in so that we will not be caught unawares.”
Adewole said Nigerian Center for Disease Control (NCDC) will also consider sending some team to DRC as part of building capacity for managing  the outbreak.

“We want to assure Nigerians that the federal government is concerned about the outbreak and will do everything possible  to keep the country safe”

“Of course of great concern to the federal executive council is the outbreak of Ebola in DR Congo. As you might be aware, over the last one month, DRC recorded 19 suspected cases of viral hemorrhagic fever and lost 16 of the cases.

“But l, what is also particularly important was that on Monday, blood samples from five patients in the DRC, particularly in a particular district in DRC, two of the five cases, Ebola was actually confirmed. And, FEC has now directed the federal ministry of help to step up emergency surveillance activities at all land and airport borders, so that we can actually keep Nigerians safe.

“We presented an update on the state of public health in nigeria at the FEC meeting. We reported on the situation with Lessa fever and declared that we are declaring the emergency phase of Lassa fever outbreak over.
“Essentially, that implies that the emergency operating center would be stood down but that instead of meeting everyday throughout the country, they will now meet once a week. They will still continue surveillance so that if there are cases anywhere in the country we can quickly dictate it and then treat it appropriately.”
The Minister who also spoke in the strike by the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU), assured that efforts were on to end the strike

“Negotiations are still on with Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) and the minister of labour is leading the negotiation and we expect that we will conclude on all issues very soon.”

Culled from: Business Day

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