Senate Urges Quick Measures to Prevent Ebola Outbreak in Nigeria

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The Ebola virus was first identified in 1976 when 2 simultaneous outbreaks occurred, 1 in Yambuku, a village not far from the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the other in a remote area of Sudan.

Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazzau was tasked to take necessary steps to check immigration, while health Minister, Isaac Adewole was urged to ensure alertness to combat disease in whatever cases may rise and get the ebola vaccine ready for an emergency.

Currently, the outbreak does not meet the criteria for declaring a "public health event of global concern".

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To forestall an outbreak in Nigeria, as experienced in Nigeria in 2014, Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos-APC) presented a motion on the issue on Tuesday.

"We must ensure that Nigeria is not taken unawares again".

The Chief Whip, Senator Sola Adeyeye, however, pointed out that the disease, if spread to Nigeria, might have a devastating effect as workers in the country's public health institutions were on strike.

Map of Bikoro region in DRC
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42 more cases of the Ebola virus disease in the ongoing outbreak in have been reported.

A total of 250,000 US dollars has been set aside for outbreak response activities by the Africa CDC, and member countries have been pledging support by contributing health workers. With varying symptoms ranging from fever to diarrhoea, there was a total of 869 contacts and 20 laboratory-confirmed cases were recorded.

As of May 13, Congo has 39 suspected, probable and confirmed cases of Ebola since April, including 19 deaths, World Health Organization reported.

Punch reports that 4,000 doses of Ebola vaccine would be sent to DRC by World Health Organization in the nearest furture.

So far, 19 people have died of Ebola in DRC.

"Unless we prepare our hospitals properly equipped with the ebola vaccine where necessary, this is an epidemic we might be unable to take up and will only cause untold hardship".

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