President Jonathan has called on Nigerians to be vigilant and express their civic duty by reporting any suspected case of Ebola promptly to Health Ministries or hospitals close to them. He reiterated that every Nigerian has a responsibility to protect their families and the great country of Nigeria from this unfortunate disease.
The disease is spread by direct contact with an Ebola patient’s blood or other bodily fluids like urine, saliva, and sweat. The highest concentration of virus is thought to be in blood, vomit and diarrhea. The most vulnerable people are health care workers, family members or people who care for the sick. Symptoms are similar to diseases like malaria and cholera.
The President has stated his commitment to work with all arms of government and as well as international health agencies to curtail the spread of the virus across the country. He has also approved the procurement of additional protective gear for health workers and border staff who would need to be protected as they carry out their tasks. Mr. President commended the oil and gas sector who have stepped-up to commit to funding the procurement of these vital protective gear. Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke in a statement said “no expense can be spared to protect the precious lives of Nigerian healthcare workers and border staff as they risk their lives daily to save millions of Nigerians. We are grateful to them.”
The President expressed deep sadness over the loss of the lives of medical staff, who cared for the Liberian patient that entered the country two weeks ago with the virus. He commended their bravery and duty of care, which cost them their lives. He encouraged all health workers, and staff at border points to remain vigilant in the execution of their duties. He called them “Nigeria’s protectors, the soldiers fighting the war that threatens the freedom of the Nigerian people.”
He called on the media to avoid scare mongering and to disseminate information on practices to help Nigerians identify and prevent the spread of the virus. The National Orientation Agency has been tasked by the Presidency to ensure all Nigerians are aware of practical steps to protect the lives of their families.
The President assured Nigerians that he will personally monitor the situation and has called on international medical organisations such as the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) to assist Nigeria. The President also had a meeting with Vice President Mr. Joe Biden on Wednesday at the White House to explore areas of collaboration to halt the spread of the disease.