August 2014

Talk of the Ebola with no cure! Culpable palpable ignorance, like corruption, pervades Nigeria at all levels; and it is an incurable disease.
First, there was the nurse who had a primary contact with the Liberian index carrier of Ebola into Nigeria, Patrick Sawyer. Allegedly, she escaped quarantine to return to her native Enugu State to attend a relative’s wedding. In the process, and before she was captured and returned back into quarantine, she did set in motion the process for possible secondary Ebola infections. She later died. And at the very least her husband has since tested positive, and receiving treatment.
Now, there is the case of “the diplomat who was part of the team who met with Patrick Sawyer in Lagos”. Just like Mr. Sawyer evaded the Liberian authorities and flew into Lagos, this diplomat also evaded the “Nigerian federal government surveillance … flew to Port Harcourt, Rivers State for treatment”, perhaps. A doctor, perhaps a friend or family member, “took him to a hotel” where he surreptitiously lodged him “for treatment” clandestinely and nocturnally through his hospital.
And now, the “Good Heart Hospital” doctor is dead. “His wife has also taken ill and has been quarantined”. Consequently, “70 people have been quarantined”. The hospital “has been shut down”. The “hotel where the secret treatment took place, has also been shut down”. Ironically, “the diplomat the doctor treated is still alive”. Go figure!
The nurse, the doctor: these are the two professionals at the pinnacle, and in the vanguard of the healthcare provision and delivery. Supposedly, they ought to know better. Society expects them to know better, because they have the relevant education and knowledge. Hence, but alas! The truisms: You can be educated and not be enlightened. And you can be knowledgeable and not be wise.

The diplomat, who was part of the team who met with Patrick Sawyer in Lagos, flew to Port Harcourt, Rivers State for treatment, evading surveillance for the disease.
A doctor, who secretly treated a diplomat who had contact with the index case, Liberian-American Patrick Sawyer, has died of Ebola in Nigeria.
The doctor, who has yet to be named, died on Friday. His wife has also taken ill and has been quarantined in Port Harcourt. Interestingly, the diplomat the doctor treated is still alive.
The diplomat, who was part of the team who met with Patrick Sawyer in Lagos, flew to Port Harcourt, Rivers State for treatment, evading Nigerian federal government surveillance for the disease. The late doctor then took him to a hotel for treatment.
As a result of this, 70 people have been quarantined. The doctor’s hospital, Good Heart Hospital in Rivers State, has been shut down. The unnamed hotel, where the secret treatment took place, has also been shut down.
The Minister of Health and the Rivers State government are expected to make a statement on the incident tomorrow.

It is quite encouraging that the spread of the Ebola in Nigeria appears to be stemmed, at least for now. After “the 21-day incubation period”, there are still only “10 confirmed cases” out of which, sadly, “4 have died, and 6 are currently under treatment”. We pray and hope that these will recover, with or without the experimental drug from Canada, to tell their tale later.
It is heartwarming to learn that the “reports of Ebola Virus Disease in Abia, Imo, Akwa Ibom and Anambra States as well as the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja have all been investigated and none of them was found to be Ebola Virus positive”. We thank God Almighty.

Ebola: Confirmed Cases Still 10, 4 Now Dead, No Ebola in Enugu, all Cases Confined to Lagos

The man who brought Ebola Virus to
Nigeria, Patrick Sayer

Nigeria has now recorded ten (10) confirmed cases of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). Out of these, four (4) have died and six (6) are currently under treatment. (It is important to note that the number of confirmed cases remains ten (10) as at today and not eleven (11) as earlier
announced this morning. We regret the error which arose from double counting in the process of communicating the additional death from the operational centre in Lagos to the Federal Ministry of Health). The fourth death recorded today was a Nigerian nurse who participated in the initial management of the index case.

The total number of persons under surveillance in Lagos is now 169. These are all secondary contacts as all the primary contacts have completed the 21-day incubation period and have been delisted to resume their normal lives.

Enugu State now has 6 persons under surveillance as 15 after complete evaluation were found not to have had contact with the nurse, a primary contact of the index case who became symptomatic and tested positive and is one of the 10 confirmed cases. The nurse who had been placed under surveillance in Lagos disobeyed the Incidence Management Committee and travelled to Enugu. At the time she made the trip, she was yet to show any symptom and did not infect anyone on her way as transmission of the disease is only possible when a carrier of the virus becomes ill. However, she has since been brought back to Lagos. Before the return journey, she had become symptomatic and had to be conveyed to Lagos with her spouse in special ambulances. The husband is not symptomatic neither is he positive for Ebola Virus Disease but has been quarantined given the intimate contact with her while in Enugu.

It is therefore important to emphasise that there is no Ebola Virus Disease in Enugu. All cases are still confined to Lagos State. Also, reports of Ebola Virus Disease in Abia, Imo, Akwa Ibom and Anambra States as well as the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja have all been investigated and none of them was found to be Ebola Virus positive.

On Monday the 11th August, 2014 the Honourable Minister of Health convened an Emergency National Council on Health (NCH) Meeting as Chairman, with the Minister of State for Health, the Commissioners for Health in the 36 States and the Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Federal Capital Territory Abuja. The meeting reviewed the state of preparedness of the country to contain the outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease and resolved on actions to be taken.

In furtherance of the national containment efforts, President Goodluck Jonathan himself convened a meeting of the 36 State Governors and the Minister of the FCTA, Commissioners for Health and the Secretary of Health of the FCTA on 13th August. The meeting was briefed by the Minister of Health, the Project Director of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO) Representative in Nigeria. The Governor of Lagos State also briefed the meeting on the situation in Lagos. Each State of the Federation and the FCTA reported on the status of their preparedness to prevent and mitigate the disease through their Commissioner of Health and the Secretary of Health in FCTA. The vast majority of the States were fully prepared while a few others are in the process of completing all the requirements.

Since the last press briefing, the Minister of Health and the Minister of Labour and Productivity have met with the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) and the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) to secure their buy-in on the strategy to contain the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak.

The private sector stakeholders and Foundations are also showing interest in containing the EVD outbreak and here today, there will be a special announcement by the Dangote Foundation.

It is also important to note the laboratories where specimen can be taken for laboratory analysis. They are:
a. NCDC Laboratory at LUTH, Idi-Araba Lagos
b. NCDC Laboratory at Asokoro, Abuja
c. Redeemer’s University Laboratory, Lagos-Shagamu Express Way
d. UCH Laboratory, Ibadan
Let me once again reassure Nigerians that the Government is working hard to ensure the containment of the outbreak.

Thank you.

Dan Nwomeh
Special Assistant on Media and Communication to the Minister
Federal Ministry of Health
1st Floor, Federal Secretariat Complex, Phase III
Ahmadu Bello Way, Abuja

08033236501, 07054658028
Source: Global Reporters vienna (GRV)

You cannot fault any country for being proactive, rather than reactive, in taking every stringent measure in protecting their people against the most viciously deadly plague of our life time – the Ebola.
This Ebola virus has been ravaging the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone since March of this year, 2014. In spite of the world wide publicity the plague engendered since then; despite the close geographical proximity of Nigeria to the region inflicted and infected; and given the fluidity of movement of people in the West African sub-continent, the authorities and Government of Nigeria never bothered to take any precautionary measures to protect Nigerians. Proactive measures like the screening of the hordes of people at the border crossings and the airports; the gathering and dissemination of information on this deadly virus, could have either prevented the Liberian index carrier of Ebola into Nigeria from entering into the country in the first place. Or, these measures could have equipped the healthcare givers at the hospital the knowledge about the plague, so as to first, be suspicious of their diabolical patient, and secondly take precautions to protect themselves.
Like everything else in Nigeria, nobody cares; nobody gives a damn, from the lowliest to mightiest; anything goes. Everybody is busy chasing the almighty naira at a breakneck speed, and with reckless abandon: embezzling funds and being embezzled; bribing and being bribed. Like anything else that comes out of the official circles in Nigeria, perhaps the reactionary measures purported to being put in place to combat the spread of the Ebola plague – reminds me of closing the barn when the cattle are already out and about – are nothing more than empty gestures and pronouncements for the world to consume. –CCObiajunwa-

Ebola Virus-A Nigerian doctor causes major scare at Trinidad airport
PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad–A Nigerian doctor, who has not been to Africa for the past five years, caused a major scare at the Piarco International Airport after he arrived on a British Airways flight from London on Thursday.
The aircraft and passengers were isolated after the doctor had been flagged as having contracted the deadly Ebola virus that spreads through mucous and other bodily fluids or secretions such as stool, urine, saliva and semen of infected people.
The British Airways flight BA 2159 originated in London Gatwick, then went on to St. Lucia before landing in Trinidad just before 4:00pm (local time).
Piarco International Airport was alerted by the Barbados-based Joint Regional Communications Centre (JRCC), via the Advance Passenger Information Database that contains a complete list of persons, including crew and passengers on the flight including their biographical data and carrier information.
A memo sent to airport staff read, “Please be advised that [a – Ed.] Person of Interest (POI) was detected via JRCC on Flight BA 2159 which departed London Gatwick (LGW) at 9:10am on August 7, 2014, and is scheduled to arrive in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago (POS), at 3:50pm on August 7, 2014. Traveller is a high risk for Ebola virus and has been referred for admissibility assessment. Please provide the results of the examination at the port of entry when they become available.”
But the Principal Medical Officer here, Dr. Collin Furlonge told Trinidad’s TV6 News Thursday night that the passenger was a Nigerian doctor living in London.
“We have sent personnel to go and confirm the information. But there seems to be little or no risk at all,” he said, adding that the passenger was eventually cleared, because he had not been to Africa in years.
TV6 News reported that the passengers were not allowed to disembark the plane, while the Nigerian passenger was taken into isolation.
Port Health workers were on standby before the plane even landed. Other airport workers had been asked to stay within a certain part of the airport, the report added.
On Wednesday, the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency CARPHA had said the risk of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) being imported to the Caribbean remained low.
“There have been no confirmed cases of Ebola in the Caribbean, and overall, the risk of becoming infected with the Ebola virus in this region remains low,” said CARPHA executive director, Dr. C. James Hospedales.
He said that in countries where the virus is present, “people who have direct contact with the organs, blood, or other bodily fluids of dead or living infected persons or animals are those at greatest risk.”
CARPHA said it had evaluated the risk of importation of the disease to the Caribbean following an increase in the number of cases of EVD in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
The man has not been to Nigeria for a long time and yet, he was isolated at the Trinidadian airport, suspected of carrying the Ebola Virus. This Virus did not start from Nigeria , only this evening I over heard a radio Presenter on WBLS, Davey Levy, saying that every Nigerian is a suspect. This is really crazy. Ebola started from Liberia. Nigeria is a country of over 180 million people, to date, it is only 9 cases that have been reported? Davey Levies of this world , please take note. Watch your basket mouth!
Emma Agu