South West Governors Meet In Lagos Over Ebola Virus

GOVERNORS in South-West states, on Wednesday, met in Lagos, to hold an emergency meeting over concerted efforts to be deployed in containing the Ebola virus disease in the states.

This came as the Lagos State government confirmed the death of one of the nurses who had first degree contact with the dead Liberian, Patrick Sawyer, who died of Ebola virus disease in Lagos.

Speaking through the Lagos State governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, at the Government House, Alausa, Lagos, the governors told newsmen that cross-border movements were major constraints in combating Ebola, while appealing to the Federal Government to deploy manpower and resources to curtail the spread.

Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun lamented that despite 58 Hilux vans patrolling the over 70 illegal borders between Lagos and Ogun, there was still the need for the Federal Government to assist with more vehicles and security forces.

Also, the Ondo State governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, called on all Nigerians to be stakeholders in the quest to combat Ebola, by being conscious of their personal hygiene.

Speaking on the case of the latest Ebola victim, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, at a press briefing with newsmen at Alausa, on Wednesday, said the nurse (names withheld) reportedly died on Tuesday at 2.06 p.m.

The development made the number of deaths recorded in Nigeria as a result the Ebola virus disease two.

According to Idris, of the six persons whose samples were taken for a laboratory test, four had tested positive to the virus, one came out negative and the last was still inconclusive.

Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, in another press briefing in Abuja, also confirmed the development, saying that Nigeria has now recorded seven confirmed cases of the Ebola virus disease, with the first case being that of Sawyer.

“The other five cases are currently being treated at the isolation ward in Lagos,” he said.

According to Idris, of the total 70 people being monitored, based on contact tracing from the index case that came into the country from Liberia, eight was admitted with their blood samples taken.

He added, however, that secondary contact tracing of all the admitted had commenced, noting that 27 of them had been reached, while efforts were on to trace others.

The commissioner also said more volunteers were needed, especially contact trackers; case management personnel, especially those with experience in but not restricted to infectious disease control.

He allayed the fears of health workers who had the required expertise, as, according to him, the government was willing to take care of such volunteers in terms of safety to personal health, life insurance cover and whatever genuine assurance they might require.

“The bottom line is that we cannot provide the requisite quality and quantity of health workers needed for the management of these cases. Outsiders would find it difficult to come in and help as is the case in scarce human resource in health settings,” he said.

Idris also appealed to businessmen and women who sold materials and equipment needed in the management of the virus not to cash in on the unfortunate situation by unduly increasing the prices of their commodities.

Professor Chukwu also revealed that emergency operations centre would be set up and fully functional by today and would, according to him, be headed by Dr Faisal Shuaibu as the incident manager.

“He (Dr Shuaibu) will later today (Wednesday) lead a six-man inter agaency team drawn from the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), the United States Centre for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to Lagos to complete the setting up of the centre,” the minister said.

“Within the week, the Minister of Information and I would be visiting Lagos State to assess the situation on ground. I wish to, once again, reassure Nigerians that the government is working hard to ensure the containment of the outbreak,” he added.



Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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