Abuja – The German Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Michael Zenner, on Wednesday said Germany had earmarked 195 million Euros to assist West Africa in its fight against Ebola and other contagious diseases.

Zenner made this known at a news conference jointly organised by the Nigerian Red Cross, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in collaboration with the German Humanitarian Assistance in Abuja.

He said the money would also be used to train medical personnel.

The ambassador said that the Ebola epidemic was a threat not only to Africa but also to the international community, adding that it would become a global epidemic if necessary steps were not taken.

Zenner applauded the Nigerian government for the successful containment of Ebola, stating that its fast and rigorous intervention helped the nation keep the disease under control.

According to Zenner, the outbreak of contagious diseases like cholera, measles and Lassa fever in Nigeria has led to the training of an additional 20 medical personnel.

The envoy, however, expressed concern over inadequate equipments and qualified personnel to fight the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

“We have received new numbers of infected persons. There are not enough qualified staff nor equipment to effectively treat the epidemic.

“We watched as more and more health personnel got infected due to lack of protective equipment and basic knowledge of the risks of infection,” he added.

Zenner said the German Red Cross through the German-French-Nigeria partnership would train over 200 medical personnel in Nigeria in the fight against Ebola.

He quoted the German Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, as saying that the partnership would help strengthen the Nigerian health system while giving support to other regions affected by the epidemic.

“To curb Ebola in the long run and prevent a renewed outbreak it is necessary to improve the health care system and infrastructure,” he said.

Mr Mario Gennaro, the Secretary-General of the German Red Cross, in his remarks said the society would focus on training initiatives to prepare potential first responders to health emergencies.

Gennaro said they would be trained and deployed within Nigeria.

On his part, Mr Abdulsalam Nasidi, the Head of the Centre for Disease Control, said the fight against the Ebola outbreak in Nigeria was a success because of the timeliness in response and support received from partners. (NAN)

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