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Ebola: After Outbreak In Congo, FG Orders Screening At Nigeria’s Borders

ebola outbreak in congo

The Federal Government on Wednesday directed the ministry of health to set up surveillance at all entry points in the country as measure against the deadly virus Ebola.

The resolve was taken during the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Council Chambers, Aso Rock.

The disease that raged in some African countries several years ago, staged a return recently in northwest part of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), killing 17 people.

Congo’s health ministry on Tuesday described the fresh outbreak as a “public health emergency with international impact.”

Briefing state house correspondents at the end of the meeting, Isaac Adewole, health minister, said the government gave the directive to ensure the deadly virus does not find its way to Nigeria, to prevent the mistake of the past.
Adewole said that part of the new measures to be taken include screening passengers coming into the country, while reiterating the government’s resolve to keep Nigerians safe.

He said: “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, what is also particularly important was that, on Monday, blood samples were drawn from five patients in the DRC, particularly in a particular district in DRC, two of the five cases, Ebola was actually confirmed. 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.

“What we will do is to set up an emergency operation center which will be chaired by Dr. Babasanya, who actually led our 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 neighbouring countries. We will also ensure we step up all activities screening people coming in so that we will not be caught unawares.

“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.”

On the night of Sunday July 20, 2014, Patrick Sawyer, a Liberia-American lawyer, entered Nigeria via the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, with the Ebola Virus Disease.
He was rushed to the First Consultants Medical Centre, Obalende, Lagos, with complaints of fever and body weakness, where a doctor at the hospital, Ameyo Adadevoh, contracted the virus, a development which led to the death of eight persons.

 
 
 
 

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