Ebola: Nigeria seeks U.S experimental drug for victims

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The Federal Government has formally requested for the experimental drugs being developed by the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the treatment of the Ebola victims.

The Minister of Health, Prof. Onyeabuchi Chukwu, said this to  State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by Vice-President Namadi Sambo on Wednesday in Abuja.

Chukwu said that he had been communicating with the director of the centre so as to get the drugs for Nigerians already infected by the Ebola disease.  

“We are doing everything possible.

“This morning, I sent an e-mail to the director of the U.S. Centre for Disease Control because we have been in communication in the last 36 hours by e-mails as well as talking.

“And I asked that we are getting report that the experimental drug seems to be useful.

“It is also possible that we can have access for our own people who are presently being treated under isolation?’

“So, we are making efforts, we are relating with them and we are doing everything possible to ensure that we contain this disease.

“It is an emergency but with the cooperation of all and with government leading and God blessing our efforts, we shall contain it.’’

The minister confirmed that as at Wednesday morning, five Nigerians had contracted the disease and were being treated at an isolation ward in Lagos.  

Also, the Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, assured Nigerians that all  the country needed to do to contain the virus was being professionally done by government.

He, therefore, called for public’s  support and cooperation in the effort to  check the spread of the disease.

“Every effort that this country should make is being made both from the point of view of  specialist intervention from the Ministries of Health and Communication.

“But we need public’s cooperation, it is very very important for the country and for public health,’’ Maku said.

The CDC Director, Dr Thomas Frieden, said on Sunday that the American doctor who contracted Ebola in West Africa seemed to have improved after being treated with the drug.

The Ebola disease had killed two persons in Nigeria.

They were the American-Liberian, Patrick Sawyer, who landed in Lagos and a female nurse who treated him. (NAN)

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