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FG Summons Emergency Health Meeting Following The Outbreak Of Ebola Virus Disease In Port Harcourt

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Abuja—An emergency National Council on Health, NCH, meeting is holding today, September 1, 2014 in Abuja following the outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease, EVD, outside Lagos.

The meeting will be the third in series since the outbreak of the disease in West Africa.

This came as widow of Dr Ike Enemuo, who died of Ebola in Port Harcourt has also tested positive to the virus.

The NCH, which is the highest decision making body on health issues in Nigeria comprises the Minister of Health, the Minister of State for Health, all state Commissioners for Health and Permanent Secretaries Ministry of Health of the 36 states, and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.

Vanguard gathered that deliberations are expected to focus on ongoing efforts to check the spread of the virus.


It was learnt that the meeting was called to address the outbreak of EVD in Port Harcourt, Rivers State and to avoid further spread to neighbouring states.

A source from the Federal Ministry of Health said the Council is expected to deliberate extensively on strategies to contain further spread of EVD even beyond primary and secondary case of the index (first) case, Patrick Sawyer.

At the last NCH, which held early August in Abuja, the body resolved that all corpses should be accompanied with death certificates and that all the states should enact legislation to support the resolution.

It also resolved that corpses of all persons confirmed to have died of EVD must be disposed off according to the standard of the World Health Organisation, WHO.

The body equally directed that transportation of corpses into the country as well as interstate be banned until further notice except with approved waivers issued by Federal Ministry of health.

It is not unlikely the council will investigate circumstances surrounding the escape of a primary contact from the isolation centre in Lagos to Port Harcourt.

Widow of Enemuo tests positive to Ebola

Meanwhile, widow of Dr Ike Enemuo, who died of Ebola in Port Harcourt has also tested positive to the virus, Rivers State government has announced.

Making the announcement in Port Harcourt, Commissioner for health, Sampson Parker, said test results showed that Mrs Enemuo had the disease, which claimed the life of her husband, Dr Enemuo, on August 22.

Late Enemuo was said to have fallen ill and died after treating an ECOWAS official who travelled to Port Harcourt after having contact with Patrick sawyer who imported the virus into the country.

Sampson said three patients; another doctor, a pharmacist and a woman who had contact with Enemuo at the hospital where he died — had been taken to a specialist treatment centre outside the city.

According to him, “the widow is now at an isolation unit in Lagos. They have not been confirmed (as having Ebola) and we are waiting for the result of the investigation.

About 200 primary and secondary contacts have been traced, although about 60 persons are yet to be spoken to. We are concentrating on the names we have to capture in our (monitoring) activities but the good news is that we have been making good progress in checking the spread of Ebola.”

Parker said early detection and treatment was vital, appealing for anyone who had contact with Enemuo, his clinic, the ECOWAS official or the hotel where he stayed to contact them immediately.

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