The federal government has said that personal and environmental hygiene and surveillance should be key so as to forestall the re- emergence of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the country.

Speaking at the launch of the 3rd World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Cooperation Strategy (CCS) for Nigeria, on Tuesday in Abuja, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Mr Linus Awute said that the recent reoccurrence in Liberia of EVD again, is a reminder of the need to sustain surveillance and remain vigilant.

He said, “We want to reassure Nigerians that our containment strategies are still in place and we are working to build a resilience health system that can withstand any emergencies or outbreaks.

According to Awute, the federal government has to re-introduce and strengthen the mechanism which was evolved during the outbreak of the deadly disease.

Meanwhile, the WHO country representative to Nigeria, Dr Rui Gama Vaz , has said that the third CCS is in line with the global health context and the move towards Universal Health Coverage, integrating the principles of alignment, harmonization, effectiveness, as formulated in the Rome (2003), Paris (2005), Accra (2008), and Busan (2011) declaration on Aid Effectiveness.

He said, this involves health promotion, health education, infection prevention and control, treatment and management, opening of treatment centes and triaging of all centres, and getting state governments to be on top of the situation.

He said, “We have mobilized port of entry teams, headed by Dr Gwarzo. All the focus borders are being classified. We have cameras and temperature reading cameras positioned in all stops and we are also reemphasizing the use of hand sanitisers and hand hygiene. We are enforcing control of movement of bodies coming into Nigeria, and we are also enforcing safe burials. No burials allowed in Nigeria without actually confirming cause of death. And no movement of corpses coming in or moving within the country from one area to another. We are enforcing the regulation we used before to make sure we are not taken by surprise.”

Nasidi added that private hospitals are not left behind, saying, “We are going to call guilds of private and public hospitals to bring them on board and the commissioners of health will soon be called.”

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