Nigeria: Nigerian state peps up ECOWAS Ebola battle

Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) - Nigeria's southern Rivers State has announced the donation of 5,000 complete set of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to ECOWAS in support of the member states affected by the outbreak that has claimed more than 5,000 lives mainly in the region.

Rivers and Lagos, the two Nigerian states that recorded Ebola cases between July and September 2014, have been declared free of the disease by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Announcing the PPEs donation on behalf of State Governor Chibuike Amaechi, while receiving an ECOWAS delegation in the capital Port Harcourt on Friday, Rivers Health Commissioner Sampson Parker also disclosed that the state is contributing 100 volunteer health workers to the pool of 500 pledged by Nigeria to assist ECOWAS countries affected by Ebola.  

Lagos State is also contributing more than 200 of the Nigerian volunteers due to travel to their respective countries of assignment.

“In making the contributions, as a gesture of solidarity, our Governor is assuring our brothers and sisters in the region and indeed, the whole world, that there is hope; that Ebola can be defeated, going by our experience in Nigeria,” the Commissioner said.

He attributed the state's Ebola success to the robust political leadership, strong commitment of the health workers and support from development partners.

“Until we win the war, we cannot rest on our oars,” the Commissioner said, stressing the need for sustained alert so as not to lose the gains already achieved.

The Commissioner disclosed that Rivers State, which recorded two Ebola deaths from four confirmed cases and 10 admissions with some 531 contacts traced, is still in a state of readiness with sustained sensitisation and social mobilisation, epidemiological surveillance and point of entry vigilance.  

The ECOWAS team was in Rivers States on an information gathering mission to document the ECOWAS response and stakeholder interventions. The success stories, lessons learnt and the challenges from the Ebola outbreak would be documented in the video.

In Lagos, the ECOWAS team met with health authorities and visited the treatment centre at Yaba and also met with an Ebola survivor.

Dr. Ismaila Abdulsalam, one of the Epidemiologists who played a major role in the Ebola fight, took the team through the processes that resulted in the success stories in the State.

The team also visited Ghana where the members met with officials of the Government and the UN Ebola Emergency Response Mission (UNMEER) which is coordinating the UN response efforts from the regional hub in capital city of Accra.

According to the ECOWAS Commission, the objective of the TV documentary being prepared by the team is to facilitate knowledge sharing toward the strengthening of regional response mechanisms for health emergencies with mass community participation, within the context of a citizen-driven Community under Vision 2020 of an ECOWAS of peoples.

Led by Dr. Mariane Ngoulla, Special Health Adviser to the President of the ECOWAS Commission, the team included Mr. Paul Ejime of the Communication Directorate and two crews from the Mali-based Africable Television and the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).
-0- PANA SEG/AR 16Nov2014

16 Novembro 2014 10:26:09

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