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Published On: Mon, Aug 11th, 2014

Minister confirms 10 Ebola cases

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nigeria minister of health
  • 5 patients responding to treatment, says Fashola

By Doyin Ojosipe & Akilani Abdullah, Lagos

Minister of Heath, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu has revealed that one more person has proved positive to the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), bringing the total number to 10 infected persons, while the number of those under surveilance, earlier said to be 139, have increased to 177, presently.

“As at today, 177 primary and secondary contacts of the index case have been placed under surveillance or isolation. 9 developed EVD, bringing the total number of cases in Nigeria”, he said.

He disclosed that the nurse who was confirmed positive was  a newly married woman, who has been living with her husband, adding that the nurse is  presently isolated, while her husband is now on surveillance.

The Government of Liberia has also expressed regret that its citizen had embarked on a journey while sick and is now responsible for the transmission of the deadly disease on Nigerians, who are currently under surveillance and now down with the infection.

Meanwhile, the Federal government, yesterday, commissioned the first National Trauma Center, at the National Hospital, Abuja.

President Goodluck Jonathan, who was represented by his vice, Arc. Namadi  Sambo, said it was not only a cardinal objective of the government’s transformation agenda, but was birthed based the need to deliver equitable and qualitative health care services to Nigerian citizens.

At the commissioning, the president said, haven equipped the trauma centre with the best of sophisticated and modern equipment, it has been made a world-class trauma center, adding that it will effectively serve the emergency traumatic patients, in a shortest time, and at less cost.

President Jonathan also urged Nigerian health experts in Diaspora to return to their country and serve to help deliver quality health care and discourage sick citizens from seeking medical attention abroad.

He added that more modernized medical diagnostics equipment are underway to meet standards of hospitals in those countries where Nigerians seek medical care.

The president said that all health workers must work in unity, as no component can work successfully without the other. “I, therefore, urge you to work in unity and to judiciously utilize the resources and facilities of the center for the benefit of patients needing its services”, he said.

Speaking earlier, the Chairman, National Hospital Abuja, Governing Board, Dr. Okam explained that the newly commissioned centre is meant to take care of patients with severe degree of injuries even in their numbers, as the emergency wards at the government hospitals have limited space and inadequate standard equipment to cater for the increasing trauma patients.

He also warned that health workers who do not display or offer hospitable services as dictated by the profession will face punitive measures and might be sacked if found guilty.

Meanwhile, the Lagos state Governor, Babatunde Fashola yesterday said that the Ebola Virus is not a death sentence provided the right medical treatment is applied on the patients who have contacted the virus.

Fashola, speaking  at different interactive sessions with traditional rulers, religious leaders, council chairmen and health workers in the state five of the patients admitted at the isolation ward at Mainland Hospital, Yaba, over contact with the Ebola Virus Disease, EVD are now responding to treatment and in stable conditions.

“We have had cases of patients who survived the virus in other countries. The idea of cure is not there; the idea of bitter kola is unverified. Bathing with salt is also unverified. As of today, we have recorded two death cases: the Liberian and the nurse. We now have ten persons in isolation that are receiving treatment. Eight of them have been confirmed positive to the Ebola Virus Disease. We are still waiting for the result of the remaining two persons.

“The mortality rate is reducing from 90 percent at the moment. All of them (patients) are stable, which means that they are not deteriorating. Five of them have really improved. This means they are fighting back. It confirms that Ebola is not an automatic death sentence if we do the right thing at the right time. We should talk to our people.

Fashola noted that experiences have shown that the human body could fight back through constant hydration, intravenous infusion and regular administration of antibiotics.

He opined that plans have been concluded to establish another isolation centre in Ikorodu, saying with the centre, “we are preparing for the worse and we are working to curtail the spread of the deadly virus.”

And in order to curtail this, Fashola said “the council chairman of the 20 Local Governments and 37 Local Council Development Areas, LCDA must provide the safety kits for health workers at the Primary Health Care, PHC centers in their councils”.

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