Health minister raises fear over Ebola resurgence

The Health Minister, Dr. Haliru Alhassan, has raised the fear over resurgence of Ebola Virus Disease in Nigeria. Expressing worry over the nationwide strike embarked upon by the Joint Health Staff Union, the minister said Nigeria was not free from Ebola as long as there were reported cases of the deadly virus in any part of the world. Alhassan, who appealed to all concerned to support the leadership role of President Goodluck Jonathan in tackling the deadly disease, said the indefinite strike embarked upon by JOHESU, at a time when many Nigerians would return home from abroad to celebrate Christmas and New Year, could threaten the success achieved.

He spoke at the occasion marking the upgrading of the Federal Medical Centre, Ido Ekiti, to a Federal Teaching Hospital and the signing of Memorandum of Understanding between the Federal Government and Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, on Saturday. The MoU followed the building of a N2.5bn clinical complex by the proprietor of ABUAD, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), in the hospital as part of the requirements by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria and National Universities Commission for the running of Medicine and Surgery in the institution.

Babalola and the Chief Medical Director of the tertiary health institution, Dr. Majekodunmi Ayodele, commended President Jonathan for embracing public-private-partnership in the health sector, saying the singular act would reposition the sector in the country. The minister, who appealed to the striking workers to display patriotism, said, “If the health workers are on strike, we don’t have people to man the hospital. This is a national duty. We can’t do it when we are on strike. As far as Ebola is in any country, we are not safe. It is just one flight away from Nigeria. It was brought by one flight to Nigeria.

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