Latest: Nigeria Declared Ebola-Free By WHO

ebola-nigeria-airport-picNigeria has been declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organization (WHO) today; the 20th of October, 2014-hurray! If any new case emerges in the future, it will be considered a separate outbreak.
This came after the WHO’s 42 days ultimatum to declare Nigeria Ebola-free if there are no other confirmed case of Ebola in the country.

“It’s possible to control Ebola. It’s possible to defeat Ebola. We’ve seen it here in Nigeria…” Nigerian Minister of Health Onyebuchi Chukwu.

Nigeria had 20 cases of Ebola after Partrick Sawyer brought the disease to Nigeria. Health care workers who were treating Patrick Sawyer were infected and from there the disease spread, but thank God it was contained-God loves Nigeria after all.

How did Nigeria contain the Ebola disease?

Chukwu and Dr. Faisal Shuaib of the Nigeria’s Ebola Emergency Operation Center (EOC) broke down how Nigeria was able to contain the disease:


Preparing early:
The Nigerian government (health officials, etc) knew that Ebola could make it to the country, so they got to work early by taking steps to curb the disease.

Declaring an emergency— immediately:
The Nigerian government declared a national public health emergency immediately after Nigeria had its first case of a confirmed Ebola case. This enabled the Nigerian Ministry of Health to form its Ebola Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The EOC is an assembly of public health experts within Nigeria as well as the WHO, Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and groups like Doctors Without Borders.

 

“[We] used a war-room approach to coordinate the outbreak response…”
“So you have a situation whereby government and staff of international development agencies are co-located in a designated facility where they are able to agree on strategies, develop one plan and implement this plan together.”-Dr. Faisal Shuaib.

The EOC was in charge of identifying and monitoring individuals who may have had direct or indirect contact with Ebola patients, enforcing strict procedures for handling and treating patients, screening people arriving or departing the country by land, air and sea, and communicating with the Nigerian people. Some EOC workers went door-to-door to offer Ebola-related education; religious and professional leaders were involved. Social media was a central part of the education response.
Training local doctors:
Nigerian doctors were trained by organizations such as Doctors Without Borders and WHO to detect, treat and care for Ebola patients.

Managing fear:
There were rumors about available cures for the Ebola disease and all that. The most surprising one I heard is the one that said drinking salt and water would cure the disease-how crappy or ignorant.
Nigeria publicized patients who were cured from the disease and discharged. Social media was also appropriately used in awareness efforts.

“People began to realize that contracting Ebola was not necessarily a death sentence…”
“Emphasizing that reporting early to the hospital boosts survival gave comfort that [a person] has some level of control over the disease prognosis.”-Dr. Faisal Shuaib.

Keeping borders open:
This is one of the decisions I would thumbs-up for. If Nigeria had closed the borders to Ebola-stricken countries (Sierra Leone, etc), it would create a sense of panic and people who want to come into the Nigeria may be forced to enter illegally through its porous borders. Hence they would not be appropriately checked. Closing the borders to Ebola-stricken countries would also affect the economic conditions in these countries.

“Closing borders tends to reinforce panic and the notion of helplessness…”
“When you close the legal points of entry, then you potentially drive people to use illegal passages, thus compounding the problem.”- Dr. Faisal Shuaib.

Remaining prepared for more patients:
Even though this outbreak was contained, Nigeria has not slowed down in its preparations for the possibility of more cases in the future.
“Outbreak response preparedness is a continuous process that requires constant review of the level of the response mechanisms in place to ensure that the health system is ready to jump into action at all levels…”
“There is no alternative to preparedness.”-Dr. Faisal Shuaib.

Advocating for more international response:

“The global community needs to consistently come together, act as one in any public health emergency, whether it is Ebola or a natural disaster.”
“While a lot has been done, it still falls short of what is necessary to get ahead of the curve. We must act now, not tomorrow, not next week.”-Dr. Faisal Shuaib


Summary

This is great! Once again I would give thumbs up to all the people that made containing the disease in Nigeria a possibility. At least, during the few months I would spend in Nigeria, I would not have to worry about entering a public transport.

 

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6 Responses

  1. Kabood! says:

    This is great! This is awesome…Lol.

  2. Squid says:

    God loves Nigeria,Nigeria loves Nigeria

  3. Rachael says:

    Don’t fool yourselves Ebola may even be in Nigeria or may still come back

  4. Chukwura says:

    I saw this comment on Yahoo news and it made me to laugh:
    “Hello! I am from Nigeria. My relative passed away(his last name was Smith) from ebola, leaving a sum of US $6,000,000 in a Nigerian account that went unclaimed and is now frozen in a Nigerian bank. Under Nigerian bank rules, only someone named “Smith” can withdraw the $. If your last name end with “Smith” you can post as him on the deceased behalf. In return, we will split the $6,000,000 fee. All I ask is that you Western Union to me $500 for the bank processing fee to access the account. LOL.” 😀 😀 😀

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