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Yes! Nigeria Free of Ebola

Medic-ALL (24:09:2014)
Exactly 2 months ago, after Nigeria was hit by the news of a "mystery" Ebola virus disease patient , a naturalized American and  Liberian Ministry of Finance official; Patrick Sawyer, who found his way into the country via the Murtala Mohammed International airport in Lagos to attend a meeting of the Economic Commission for West African States  (ECOWAS) in the city of Calabar. The Minister of Health, Dr. Onyebuchi Chukwu declared yesterday that there is presently no single case of the Ebola virus disease in the country. Stating that there are no cases of the disease under treatment nor any suspected cases. He added that there are no contacts under surveillance having being under observation for at least 21 days.

Prof. C. O. Onyebuchi Chukwu, Honourable Minister of Health, Federal Republic of Nigeria

About 400 contacts from the Southern part of the country in Rivers State, Port Harcourt had earlier being on medical surveillance, with 25 of them remaining as at Monday the 22nd of September and none showing symptoms, they were scheduled for discharge on the Tuesday. Indeed it appears the disease has being successfully contained in Lagos , a city of 21 million people and Prt Harcourt which has a population of 1.4 million people.

Nigeria, which is the most populous black nation in the world , with about 177 million people suffered a total of 21 Ebola cases and 8 deaths, this is in contrast to Liberia with a population of  4.3 million and had suffered 1,459 deaths out of 2,710 reported cases as at last Friday. This is truly a remarkable achievement for a country plagued by relative insecurity and pervasive and chronic corruption. A rare signal that things can indeed go right in some parts of Africa.

The Ebola survivors in Nigeria were not treated with any experimental drugs. Contact tracing and early identification of cases were managed by isolating patients and replacing fluids and electrolytes, while some were transfused.

The Nigerian Health Minister was full of praises for the World Health Organization (WHO) Director General, Margaret Chan MD, who assisted the country by sending experienced physicians to the country to help manage the cases. Other organizations which helped in the fight against the deadly virus in the West African country include, UNICEF, CDC and MSF.

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