BY VICTORIA OJEME
ABUJA – The federal government has confirmed the death of a victim of Ebola virus in a Lagos hospital.
The Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, at a briefing in Abuja Friday said: “on July 22, the Federal Ministry of Health was alerted on a suspected case of Ebola virus disease in Lagos involving a 40-year old male, travelling from Monrovia, Liberia to Nigeria on Asky Airline via Lome to Lagos.
“The passenger presented with fever, vomiting and diarrhoea on arrival at the airport. He was then handed over by the airline to the Port Health Services of the Federal Ministry of Health who quickly isolated him and transported him to the hospital, avoiding contact with the general public.
“The patient was subjected to thorough medical evaluation where laboratory investigations where carried out. His blood sample was taken to the advanced laboratory at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital which confirmed the diagnosis of Ebola Virus Disease. The result was corroborated by other laboratories outside Nigeria.
“Despite the urgent specialised barrier nursing care provided for the patient in Lagos, the patient unfortunately passed away in the early hours of July 25, 2914.”
The minister however reassured the general public that his ministry was currently working with other ministries, agencies and international organisations, as well as, the Lagos State Government to prevent the spread of the virus.
According to the minister, “all the passengers the patient came in contact with have been traced and are being investigated; in line with the WHO international health regulations and in keeping with international best practices, all ports of entry into Nigeria including airports, seaports and land borders are placed on Red Alert.
“Ministry of Health specialists have been positioned in all entry points. Active surveillance has also been stepped up.
“All government tertiary health institutions in Nigeria have been equipped to handle any emergency that may arise from the disease.”
The Minister also noted that “an emergency operation centre has been established, coordinated by the Centre for Disease Control of the Federal Ministry of Health with an inter-ministerial committee set up by Mr President, headed by the Minister of Information in order to sensitize the public.”
The following numbers, the Minister said can be used to contact ministry officials in case of any emergency. They include 08023210923, 08097979595 and 07067352220.
“The general public is hereby assured that the federal government is not leaving any stone unturned to keep Nigerians safe,” the minister said.