Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, on Wednesday accused the foreign media of exaggerating cases of Ebola outbreak in Nigeria while leaving Spain and America out of a list of Ebola-hit countries.
Speaking after the Federal Executive Council, FEC meeting, Mr. Chukwu said it is wrong for the foreign media to lump Nigeria with the three other countries –Guniea, Sierra-Leone and Liberia — worst hit by the
Mr. Chukwu said foreign media houses are playing games with their reports on the Ebola Virus in Nigeria.
“The foreign media are playing games with the world with the reportage of the Ebola virus. Out of the over 1,000 cases that died only five is in Nigeria, but they lump us together with Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia with higher cases because we are all in West Africa,” Mr. Chukwu lamented.
As at August 22, the World Health Organization reported that the four West African countries including Nigeria recorded 1, 528 cases of Ebola and 844 fatalities.
Of the over 1, 000 confirmed Ebola cases in West African region, Nigeria recorded 13 confirmed cases, out of which five people died, seven were discharged and one is still receiving treatment at the Ebola
Emergency Treatment Centre in Lagos.
In Sierra Leone, there have 804 confirmed cases and 353 deaths; Guinea has, 443 confirmed cases and 264 deaths; Liberia has had 269 confirmed cases and 222 deaths.
The minister also said the foreign media based their reportage of the outbreak of the disease in West Africa on Nigeria’s minute cases.
American based news outfit, CNN, had on its August 15 Ebola reportage, itemised Nigeria first on the list of countries with Ebola.
“Ebola has infected at least 2,127 people in Nigeria, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since the outbreak began this year,” CNN reported.
Mr. Chukwu, feeling dispirited about the mode of reportage considering the lower number odf cases recorded in Nigeria, said countries like the United States of America and Spain who have citizens infected with the virus, needed to be put on the list of Ebola –hit countries.
“When they want to report on the Ebola virus they start with Nigeria first. Why are they not including Spain and the United States that has two cases too?.” Mr. Chukwu said.
Nigeria was Ebola free until the Liberian-America, Patrick Sawyer, brought it into the country.