Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has urged the Federal Government and Nigerians to take the necessary precautions to ensure that the Ebola virus, EVD, does not find its way into the country.
Writing about the disease on his blog, Atiku said it had claimed the lives of no fewer than 66 Guineans and two Liberians, adding that it was with love for Nigerian and other West African brothers and sisters that he wrote to spread awareness of the disease.
“EVD is a severe acute viral illness often characterized by the sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding. Laboratory findings include low white blood cell and platelet counts, and elevated liver enzymes”.
According to the former vice president, the International Congress on Infectious Disease, ICID, has stressed that there was no cause for alarm, but had encouraged West African governments to work together to contain the spread of the virus.
“As of 06 April 2014, there have been no reported cases of Ebola disease within Nigeria, and the Federal Health Ministry has set up precautions to field against transmission from affected countries”, Atiku said.
“I would like to encourage the Federal Government and others in leadership to similarly spread the message and establish a localized protocol to guard against possible infection in Nigeria.
“As part of the protocol, I encourage the Federal Government to follow suit with Morocco and Saudi Arabia, by instituting extra health screening at entry points to the country”.
He asked Nigerians exhibiting the signs and symptoms of EVD to contact their local health officials immediately.
“To the citizens of Nigeria, I encourage both your awareness and calm cooperation with health experts as they employ international best practices to prevent EVD.
“If you or a loved one is exhibiting signs and symptoms of EVD, please contact your local health officials immediately. I have full confidence in Nigeria’s health authorities and their international healthcare partners to effectively survey for illness and monitor for unusual patterns and symptoms compatible with the disease”, he added.
Atiku stated that he was praying for Nigeria’s West African neighbours as they continued their efforts to protect their citizens from Ebola disease, adding “I remain confident that the Nigerian government and health officials will employ every effort to protect the Nigerian people, and that we Nigerians will remain informed and steadfast in our response to EVD”.