The Federal Government has named four laboratories for testing of the Ebola virus disease.
These are in Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Centre for Disease Control in Asokoro, Abuja; University College Hospital, Ibadan and the Redeemer University Laboratory along Kilometre 35, Lagos Ibadan Expressway. The government is also targeting Jos and Kano as well as setting up a mobile test centre in Enugu by the end of the week. The government intends to set up nine laboratories across the country before the end of next month.
Addressing State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, the governors of Lagos and Enugu states, WHO Country Representative, Dr. Rui Voiz, the Ministers of Information and Health, Director General of National Centre for Disease Control, Professor Abdulsalam Nasidi, disclosed that most Nigerians in the diaspora were in touch with the Federal Government to assist in making available the experimental drugs on Ebola virus disease.
Labaran Maku said the special meeting called by President Goodluck Jonathan discussed the various efforts at Federal and State levels to combat the Ebola virus.
He said: “We rose from this meeting with the confidence that we will defeat this virus in line with the leadership being given by the President and State Governors and professional health workers.” Health Minister, Prof Onyeabuchi Chukwu, said Nigeria has 10 confirmed cases including the Liberian, who imported the disease and those who had contact with the index case, adding that of the 10 cases, three had been confirmed dead. He said in Enugu, there were 21 secondary contact cases under surveillance and that a defiant nurse was under observation in Lagos.
He said government’s decision on prohibition on repatriation of corpses from abroad, would be fully enforced. He however, explained that waivers will be granted after due diligence have been carried out. He said already, two of such waivers from Kenya and India of Nigerians, who died of diabetes and cancer respectively have been granted.
He said: “Two cases were reported in Abuja but they have been cleared of not having the virus. The one in Anambra concerning a corpse has been cleared. That of Abia, which was a case of reaction to a drug (Steven Johnson) has been cleared. So also is the corpse in Imo brought from Liberia it has been cleared of the cause not being Ebola.”
The Lagos Governor, Babatunde Fashola, made case for transparent disclosure of infected persons, adding that health workers are provided with advanced equipment to protect them in their first line of duties.
His Enugu State counterpart, Sullivan Chime said, “from the reports of the meeting it’s clear Nigeria has the capacity to fight Ebola but there is need for standardised practice combating it,” while the WHO Representative, insisted that the epidemic was controllable.