Ebola: Health Minister hails Rivers’ facilities

Onyebuchi Chukwu, Nigeria's health minister.

The Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, has scored the Rivers state Government high on the state’s facilities for tackling the Ebola Virus Disease, saying they are of world standard.

Mr. Chukwu said this Monday while addressing newsmen. He had visited and inspected the Rivers state facilities on Friday.

“I am happy to note that the facilities in Rivers State (treatment center, laboratory and EOC) are satisfactory and meet world standards. The case management team has enough medical and nursing personnel and the morale of the personnel is high,” said the minister.

He also met with experts working at the Emergency Operations Centre in Rivers State.

Accompanied by the Commissioner for Health of Rivers State, Sampson Parker, Mr. Chukwu addressed health workers participating in an awareness and sensitization workshop at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, UPTH, and Port Harcourt residents in a town hall meeting.

He inaugurated the Port Harcourt Local Government Ebola Response Team.

He however noted that in the last one week a number of EVD rumours have been investigated and all the cases have turned out to be negative.

According to Mr. Chukwu, the rumours in Kebbi, Kaduna, Lagos, Lagos, Oyo, Ebonyi, Delta and Sokoto States as well as the Federal Capital Territory were false.

He further disclosed that the Federal Ministry of Health has commenced the distribution of ambulances, utility vehicles and motorcycles to the Port Health Services at the international airports, seaports and land crossings, while the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has also commenced the training of State personnel in the management of EVD.

The minister also disclosed that the personal protective equipment which were ordered are expected in the country in a few weeks but for now, the country has enough.

He however appealed to countries and individuals to stop stigmatizing Nigerians over the country’s Ebola outbreak.

“We continue to appeal to countries and individuals not to profile or stigmatize anyone on account of EVD. In particular, we have observed that some countries have continued to selectively quarantine Nigerian travellers without any health or scientific basis,” he said.

“For the record, let me say clearly that while any individual from any country of the world could be a carrier of the EVD and transmit same to others, no single Nigerian as of now has introduced EVD to any country. Nigeria shall continue to support protocols approved by the WHO which do not support the closure of borders, do not restrict travel, and do not stigmatize anyone on the basis of the passport that one carries.

“The Federal Government shall continue to remain vigilant and strengthen screening at our ports of entry and exit. As long as there is a single case of EVD anywhere in the world, every nation, every individual remains at risk and Nigeria and Nigerians are not exempt,” Mr. Chukwu said.

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