Ebola Outbreak: Nigeria donates $3.5million to West African countries

The Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, on Wednesday said Nigeria had already donated $3.5m as part of its intervention in the affected countries.

Chukwu said the sum was made up of $500,000 to each of the countries and the balance to the common ECOWAS Fund for the disease.

He also said 591 health practitioners had volunteered to join the international force that would go to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea to help in the containment of the Ebola Virus Disease.

He said the volunteers registered with his ministry at three points in Lagos, Abuja and Port-Harcourt.

Chukwu said this while speaking with State House correspondents at the end of the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan.

He said that he had already told a recent meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on EVD of Nigeria’s readiness to help the three countries.

He said, “I informed the United Nations General Assembly that the President has already directed the Federal Ministry of Health to train and send health personnel to these three countries in the area of special laboratory work to strengthen capacity in those countries.
“I also informed them that as part of Nigeria’s contributions to the international team that will be set up to tackle Ebola Virus Disease in those countries, already Nigeria volunteers from different health professions have been registering with us, willing to join the international force that will go to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea to help out with the containment.

“As of now, 591 Nigerians have already registered with us in three registries we opened in Lagos, Abuja Port Harcourt.”
The minister however said there were certain conditions to be met before the volunteers would be allowed to leave the country.

He said the first step was for President Goodluck Jonathan to approve their journey and mission and that the volunteers would be properly trained according to Nigeria’s standards, which, he said, was fairly high.

Chukwu said he also told the meeting, which was called to review the global situation on the disease that Nigeria is now Ebola-free. He said the country had had 19 cases with seven deaths contrary to the 20 cases being reported by the foreign media.
“Presently there is no single case of active Ebola Virus Disease in Nigeria, no single contact that is presently under surveillance in any part of the country,” he declared.
He said the ban on repatriation of corpses as well as inter-state movement of corpses was still in force, adding that the ban remained except where approval had been granted by the Minister of Health.

Credit: Olalekan Adetayo/PunchNews