August 11, 2014 – The Federal Government has placed 177 Nigerians who had secondary contacts with Patrick Sawyer, the Liberian American who died of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Lagos, Nigeria.
They were placed on surveillance just as government has confirmed 10 cases of EVD in Nigeria. At a press briefing in Abuja, Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu said that out of the 10 that tested positive, two have died. They include the Liberian, Patrick Sawyer and the Nigerian nurse that attended to him. He explained that the eight others who have tested positive are currently receiving treatment in Lagos.
“It has been 22 days since EVD first landed in Nigeria. As at today, 177 primary and secondary contacts of the index case have been placed under surveillance or isolation. 9 developed EVD, bringing the total number of cases in Nigeria to 10. Of these 10, 2 have died (the Liberian American and the Nigerian nurse) while 8 are alive and currently on treatment”, he said.
The minister added that within the initial forty eight hours of the death of this first Nigerian from EVD, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan approved the National Ebola Virus Disease Emergency Containment Plan with an immediate cash backing of One Billion Nine Hundred Million Naira only (1.9Billion) which is about 12Million USD to further complement the containment efforts already in place.
“The Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Health and its agencies, works very closely with the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), local authorities and other international partners to further deepen and broaden these containment efforts.
“We shall single out the WHO and the CDC for special commendation for their understanding and continuous support in this challenging moment; particularly for the partnership and most importantly for the capacity building of our Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)
“Nigeria wishes to emphasize that, it essentially remained an Ebola Virus free country until this incidence of importation and unfortunate contamination. We will continue to work with all stakeholders, local and international partners to maximize on this and intensify efforts to contain and treat the existing cases”, he said.