139 Nigerians now under surveillance for Ebola as 2 more test positive

Posted by News Express | 9 August 2014 | 3,088 times

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Some 69 more people are under surveillance amidst concerns of infection with the Ebola virus, though confirmatory tests are yet to come in. This brings to 139 the number of people under surveillance.

Two more people have tested positive since the death of a nurse who attended to late Liberian-American Patrick Sawyer in Lagos hospital on July 25, the federal health ministry confirmed yesterday. They bring to nine the total confirmed cases nationwide, said health minister Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu.

“So far the case fatality rate is 28.6 percent. Fatality rate in the ECOWAS sub-region is about 55 percent, which means 45 percent of people who have suffered from Ebola have survived and are living, and are living witnesses,” Chukwu said.

“Having Ebola does not mean you are condemned to die. We have survivors and almost half [of those infected] in West Africa have survived,” he added.

The figures emerged as both the minister and his information counterpart Mr. Labaran Maku, who heads the nationwide communication strategy for Ebola, visited the site of emergency operations centre, based at the Central Public Health Laboratory in Yaba, Lagos.

Their visit to assess the situation on Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), which entered the country late July with Sawyer’s death and has left one Nigerian health worker dead, comes ahead of an emergency national council on health meeting with state health commissioners on Monday.

The council is the highest policymaking body for health in the country and could chart further steps to address the outbreak and build states’ preparedness.

Further meetings are planned for Tuesday with road transport workers, students’ union governments of universities and polytechnics.

Both ministers are expected to brief the presidency on their assessment at the EOC, for which “additional money has been approved to acquire all needed to wage this war against Ebola,” said Chukwu.

The EOC is challenged by a dearth of volunteers – from laboratory and administration to security and technical – willing to take part in Nigeria’s anti-Ebola efforts.

But the federal health ministry has been given approval to recruit “necessary personnel” for the EOC.

In return, government has offered all EOC volunteers free life insurance cover, in same fashion as Lagos state government has done.

•Text courtesy of Weekly Trust. Photo shows Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu.

Source: News Express

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