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 in addition to the 250 Nigerian experts 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.
According to Dr. Khaliru Alhassan, the supervising minister of health who stated this during a press briefing on Thursday in Abuja, he warned that the transportation of corpses was still banned in Nigeria except proper clearance is obtained from the Ministry of Health.
In the statement, 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 response. 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.”
According to Punch newspaper, 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.