Ebola: Rivers Treatment Centre, World Standard, Says Health Minister

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The Rivers state Government has been scored high on its state of facilities for curtailing the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease.

The Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, who gave the commendation on Monday while giving an update on the virus disease at a press briefing in Abuja, described the facilities as world class.

He had visited and inspected the Rivers state facilities on Friday.

“I am happy to note that the facilities in Rivers State (treatment center, laboratory and EOC) are satisfactory and meet world standards. The case management team has enough medical and nursing personnel and the morale of the personnel is high”, said the minister.

Mr. Chukwu also met with experts working at the Emergency Operations Centre in Rivers State.

Accompanied by the Rivers Commissioner for Health, Dr. Sampson Parker, the minister addressed health workers participating in an awareness and sensitization workshop at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, UPTH, and Port Harcourt residents in a town hall meeting.

He also inaugurated the Port Harcourt Local Government Ebola Response Team.

Mr. Chukwu, however, noted that in the last one week, a number of EVD rumours have been investigated and all of them turned out to be negative.

According to him, the rumours in Kebbi, Kaduna, Lagos, Oyo, Ebonyi, Delta and Sokoto States as well as the Federal Capital Territory were false.

He further disclosed that the Federal Ministry of Health has commenced the distribution of ambulances, utility vehicles and motorcycles to the Port Health Services at the international airports, seaports and land crossings, while the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has also begun the training of State personnel in the management of EVD.

The minister also stated that the personal protective equipment, which were ordered, are expected in the country in a few weeks but for now, the country has enough.

Chuwkwu used the occasion to appeal to countries and individuals to stop stigmatizing Nigerians over the country’s Ebola outbreak.

“We continue to appeal to countries and individuals not to profile or stigmatize anyone on account of EVD. In particular, we have observed that some countries have continued to selectively quarantine Nigerian travellers without any health or scientific basis”, he said.

“For the record, let me say clearly that while any individual from any country of the world could be a carrier of the EVD and transmit same to others, no single Nigerian as of now has introduced EVD to any country. Nigeria shall continue to support protocols approved by the WHO which do not support the closure of borders, do not restrict travel, and do not stigmatize anyone on the basis of the passport that one carries.

“The Federal Government shall continue to remain vigilant and strengthen screening at our ports of entry and exit. As long as there is a single case of EVD anywhere in the world, every nation, every individual remains at risk and Nigeria and Nigerians are not exempt”, the minister emphasized.

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