Nigeria Has Successfully Contained The Spread Of Ebola – Health Minister

Nigeria Has Successfully Contained The Spread Of Ebola – Health Minister

By Vanguard on August 27, 2014
Nigeria's Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu speaks during a media briefing about the status of the Ebola disease control in Nigeria. Lagos recorded its second case of Ebola on Monday. (Photo Credit: REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde)

Thirty eight days after importation of the Ebola Virus Disease, EVD, into the country by the late American-Liberian, Mr. Patrick Sawyer, the threat of the disease may have been contained, following the survival of eight of the victims, seven of who have been discharged; screening of a total of 321 persons, even as additional 10 contacts were listed Monday in Lagos.

Disclosing this in Abuja, the Health Minister said two more patients with the Ebola virus disease have been discharged from the Isolation Ward in Lagos State, bringing to seven the number of patients that have been treated and declared free from the virus in the country even as the number of deaths from the killer disease scourge still remains five, including the index case, Patrick Sawyer.

Chukwu added that the nation has had 13 cases of EVD including the index case.

“Of these 13, five including the index case unfortunately did not survive the disease and are now late.

However, seven of the infected persons were successfully managed at the isolation ward in Lagos and have been discharged.

“Two of the treated patients, a male doctor and a female nurse were discharged yesterday, both of them primary contacts of Mr. Patrick Sawyer, having satisfied the criteria for discharge.

“As I speak to you, Nigeria has only one confirmed case of EVD, a secondary contact of Mr Patrick Sawyer. This is an indication that, thus far, Nigeria has contained the disease outbreak.

“I wish to reassure Nigerians and indeed the global community that the government shall remain vigilant and will not relent as government continues to work with her partners to ensure that the disease is kept out of the country,” the Minister added.

Besides, the minister informed that 129 persons had been freed from surveillance, having passed through the 21 days incubation period for the virus without testing positive. Similarly, 128 persons are still on the radar of government for the virus, the minister stated.

“All those who are under our surveillance, only one person is symptomatic; we are investigating, the result is not out. All others are not symptomatic,” the Minister stated.

Speaking further, Dr Idris explained that the recovery of seven confirmed cases in the state have buttressed that Ebola infection is not a death sentence.

“The suspected case is awaiting confirmatory test result to inform the next line of action. Currently there are two cases, one confirmed and one suspected in the isolation centre at the facilities in Mainland Hospital, Yaba.”

He disclosed that the seven Ebola-free patients are being re-integrated successfully with their families and communities.

“The common thread amongst the recovered cases is their early presentation for supportive treatment. There is no need to hide friends and relations we suspect have come down with the disease. The earlier they are brought for screening and surveillance, the better the outcome.”

Idris explained that three bodies were cremated and two properly buried after full decontamination of bodies.

Nigeria records 61.5 percent survivors

Nigerian and the world at large yesterday received the cheery news that the country has con

tained the threat of the dreaded EVD following the discharge of seven infected persons out of the 13 confirmed cases. Currently, only one person is at the isolation centre in Lagos and her condition is stable. Two more patients with the Ebola virus disease have been discharged from the isolation ward in Lagos State,

Nigeria lost five persons to the disease including the index (first) case, Mr Patrick Sawyer, the late Liberian-American who brought the disease to Nigeria on July 20, 2014.

With the development, the disease killed 38.5 per cent of those affected in Nigeria. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 90 per cent of those affected die from Ebola.

Through sheer determination and care on the part of government and awareness by the citizenry, Nigeria ensured that only 13 persons out of a population of 167 million were affected and 61.5 per cent of Ebola victims survived the disease. The record is bettered by Uganda, which in 2007 had 149 cases and 37 deaths (25 per cent fatality) and Cote d’ Ivoire that had one case and no death in 1994.

Since the outbreak of the disease in four West African countries — Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria, late December 2013 and this year, the WHO, as of August 22, said that 2615 cases and 1427 deaths (54.57 per cent fatality) have been recorded.

The breakdown of the figures is as follows:

*    Liberia—1082 cases, 624 deaths, 57.67 per cent fatality

*    Sierra Leone—935 cases, 392 deaths, 41.93 per cent fatality

*    Guinea— 607 cases, 406 deaths, 66.87 per cent fatality

*    Nigeria— 13 cases, five deaths, 38.46 per cent fatality.

Nigeria is by far the most populous of these countries with a population of 167 million and yet recorded the least number of cases, an indication of the professional manner the government, health authorities and the citizenry handled the challenge.

The populations of the other countries are:  Uganda (37 million), Cote d Ívoire  (16 million), Guinea (10 million), Sierra Leone (six million) and Liberia (3.5 million), whose total of 73 million is about half of Nigeria’s population.

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