Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 22 October 2014 | 2,983 times
A medical expert with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Dr. Femi Adeyemi, has warned that Nigeria is still at the risk of witnessing the dreaded Ebola disease if the influx of people from neighbouring West African countries continues unchecked.
Speaking during at a three-day seminar in Awka, Anambra State, for journalists on prevention of Mother to Child HIV/AIDS transmission, Adeyemi said if the efforts made in containing the spread of Ebola had been similarly made in fighting HIV/AIDS, the scourge would have been drastically reduced.
He said: “It is good that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared Nigeria Ebola free, but as long as people from other countries who depend on Nigeria heavily in many areas continue to come in unchecked, the country remains at risk.”
According to Dr. Adeyemi, since the tackling of the Ebola virus by the collective efforts of the state and the federal governments, with the assistance of the international community, other neighbouring countries that had the same problem had been flooding Nigeria and it is left to those working at the borders to ensure that the disease is not imported again.
He suggested that screening of visitors from the affected countries should remain a continuous exercise until Ebola is eradicated from those countries.
On HIV/AIDS, Adeyemi said that though progress is being made, the scourge is still prevalent in many states.
While urging the country’s leaders to put in more efforts in combating the virus, he said that a situation whereby Anambra ranks fourth with 8.7 percent HIV/AIDS prevalence and nine pregnant women out of 100 testing positive of HIV, is unacceptable considering the human resources available in the state.
Adeyemi identified other states where HIV/AIDS is also known to be prevalent to include Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Benue, Abia, Plateau, Nasarawa and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
•Photo shows a health worker involved in Nigeria’s successfulefforts to defeat Ebola.
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