Nigeria has not Lowered Gaurd against Ebola - Awute
The Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Health, Mr. Linus Awute, has stated that one year after the Ebola free certification given to Nigeria by the World Health Organization (WHO), the country has remain vigilant through enhanced surveillance. This surveillance, he noted is not only for Ebola, but also for all diseases that constitute public health emergencies.
Speaking at a press briefing, in Abuja, to commemorate the first anniversary of the 20th October 2014, WHO declaration of Nigeria as Ebola free, Mr. Awute said that 20/10 will remain a special date for public health practitioners in the country and indeed other followers of global health developments around the world.
He noted that Nigeria’s ability to contain the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) within a very short period of time contributed to the preservation of global health security. This, he observed was contrary to the initial local and international scepticism about the nation’s capacity to contain the disease when it struck in Nigeria.
Appreciating the various organizations and groups that contributed to the success story, Mr. Awute recalled that purposeful leadership, as well political and financial commitment were provided by Federal and state governments. This, he added was complimented by the patriotism of professional bodies, communities, corporate bodies as well as donors and implementing partners. In his words, ‘
“It was indeed this historic partnership that contributed to the preservation of regional and global security.”
Mr. Awute also commended the 200 health care volunteers from Nigeria who were part of the contingent of the African Union Support for Ebola Outbreak in West Africa (ASOEWA), which operated in the under the auspices of the African Union.
He enthused that all the volunteers had returned un-infected by the deadly virus and have since been reintegrated into the Nigerian society. He maintained that they deserve national recognition for their meritorious service to Nigeria and further said that they will serve as the reservoir foot soldiers for future emergency health responses.
The Permanent Secretary also informed that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) will soon establish a survival clinic in collaboration with tertiary health institutions to address the issue of relapse in Ebola survival. He also said that the Department of Public Health, FMOH is continuing active surveillance with Port Health Services at all points of entry in Nigeria.
For: Director, Press and Public Relations