LAGOS, August 9, 2014 (AFP) – Authorities in Lagos appealed Saturday for volunteers to help fight an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in Nigerian’s megacity of over 20 million people after admitting they lacked medical personnel.
“We have a shortage of personnel. I won’t lie about that. And that is why we are asking for volunteers,” Lagos state health commissioner, Jide Idris, said on a live television programme.
The state of Lagos, which is home to Nigeria’s largest city, has recorded nine confirmed cases of Ebola, including two deaths.
In its fight againsty the spread of the virus, Idris said that the state government was offering incentives to medical volunteers, including life insurance.
It is unclear if public sector doctors have resumed work across the country after the president of their union on Thursday announced the suspension of their pay strike which began on July 1.
In the capital Abuja on Friday, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan declared efforts to control and contain Ebola in Nigeria a national emergency, his office said in a statement.
He also approved the immediate release of 1.9 billion naira ($11.6 million, 8.7 million euros) to fund measures against the spread of the virus.
Among measures to be undertaken include setting up additional centres to isolate people with the virus, screening at the borders, tracing people exposed to the virus, and boosting public awareness.