Nigerian nurse dies of Ebola

An Ebola patient being attended to
An Ebola patient being attended to

The nurse came in direct contact with Patrick Sawyer.

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A Nigerian nurse who treated Patrick Sawyer has died from Ebola virus, the Nigerian government has confirmed.

The Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, also confirmed that five more people tested positive to the virus.

All six who tested positive, including the late nurse, were in primary contact with the Liberian American, Mr. Sawyer, who died in a Lagos hospital late July after arriving from Liberia.

The nurse is the first Nigerian to die from Ebola. The minister did not provide further details about her identity ostensibly for fears her family might be stigmatized.

The Nigerian government has asked the U.S. Centre for Disease Control to provide it with the experimental drug being administered on the two American doctors infected in Liberia.

Both are said to be responding to treatment.

Mr. Chukwu, at a press briefing on Wednesday morning, demanded state governments to open up more isolation centres to contain people who might need to be treated or isolated.

He said the government would stop at nothing to contain the spread of Ebola.

Mr. Chukwu also said the 24 hours Emergency Operations Centre being established would be fully functional by Thursday. It will be headed by Faisal Shuaibu, a doctor.

Read full statement below:

Press Statement By The Honourable Minister Of Health, Professor C. O. Onyebuchi Chukwu On The 6th Of August, 2014 At The Federal Ministry Of Health, Abuja.

Update On The Status Of Ebola Virus Disease In Nigeria

Nigeria has now recorded seven (7) confirmed cases of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).

The first one was the index case-the imported case from Liberia of which the victim is now late.

Yesterday, 5th August, 2014, the first known Nigerian to die of the EVD was recorded and this was one of the nurses that attended to the Liberian. The other five cases are currently being treated at the isolation ward in Lagos.

It is pertinent to note that:

  • All the Nigerians diagnosed of the EVD were primary contacts of the index case.
  • The 24/7 Emergency Operations Centre which I intimated you of in my last press conference will be fully functional by tomorrow. It will be headed by Dr. Faisal Shuaibu as the Incident Manager. He will later today lead a six-man inter-agency team drawn from National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), the US CDC, the WHO, UNICEF and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to Lagos to complete the setting up of the Centre. They will be joined by the other personnel from the Lagos State Government and the federal hospitals in the Lagos area as well as the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control.

I have also appointed a Director of Communication and Community Mobilization who will be based in Lagos- Prof. O. Onajole of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital.

We are embarking on recruiting additional health personnel to strengthen the team who are currently managing the situation in Lagos.

We are making arrangements to procure isolation tents to quicken the pace of providing isolation wards in all the states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

We are also setting up a special team to provide counseling and psychosocial support to patients, identified contacts and their families.

Within the week, the Honourable Minister of Information and I would be visiting Lagos State to assess the situation on ground.

I wish to once again reassure Nigerians that the Government is working hard to ensure the containment of the outbreak.

Thank you.

Dan Nwomeh

Special Assistant on Media and Communication to the Minister

Federal Ministry of Health

1st Floor, Federal Secretariat Complex, Phase III

Ahmadu Bello Way, Abuja

 


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