From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Federal Government has placed all Federal Tertiary Health Institutions (FTHI) and other healthcare facilities on a red alert in response to the recent resurgence of deadly Ebola in Guinea Conakry.
The Director, Health Planning, Research and Statistics, in the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Ngozi Azodoh, in an internal circular with reference number DHPRS/219/18/1, addressed to all heads of departments and programmes, requested that healthcare workers take note and report any suspected case to the appropriate authorities for further examination and action.
Dr. Azodoh confirmed in the circular that Federal Ministry of Health is in receipt of a letter from Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs with reference number CW8/3/XXIII, informing them of the recent outbreak and resurgence of deadly Ebola virus in Guinea Conakry which has devastated the country in the past.
She said that in view of the above, the Liberian government in a letter requested that Nigerian government take necessary measures to avoid further spread of the virus across West Africa which could further put pressure on its healthcare facilities.
She said that while relevant technical departments/agencies are working on the national response and instituting appropriate and precautionary measures, African leaders and other health workers should be mindful of the outbreak and its implications to the West Africa countries’ healthcare system.
Recall that in 2014, Nigeria took drastic and strict measures to contain the importation and spread of the deadly Ebola virus to Nigeria from some Africa countries where it has taken the lives of many people.
The then Minister of Health, Dr. Onyebuchi Chukwu, alongside other officials of the Ministry collectively worked with partners to prevent the importation of the disease into Nigeria.
Regrettably, Dr. Ameyo Adadevoh, a Nigerian Physician died in the cause of ensuring that the disease was never imported into the country. She is credited with having curbed a wider spread of the Ebola virus in Nigeria by placing the patient zero, Patrick Sawyer, in quarantine despite pressure from the Liberian government.