WHO Declares Nigeria Ebola Free After 42 Days Without A Single Case

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has officially declared Nigeria as Ebola virus transmission free.

The lines on the tabular situation reports, sent to WHO headquarters each day by its country office in Nigeria, have now been full of zeros for 42 days, a statement by the UN agency said.

“This is a spectacular success story that shows that Ebola can be contained. The story of how Nigeria ended what many believed to be potentially the most explosive Ebola outbreak imaginable is worth telling in detail,” the WHO statement said.

“Such a story can help the many other developing countries that are deeply worried by the prospect of an imported Ebola case and eager to improve their preparedness plans. Many wealthy countries, with outstanding health systems, may have something to learn as well.”

Nigeria has been recording commendable success in public health recently, with WHO earlier in the year, confirming that the country had eradicated guinea-worm disease. When the eradication initiative was launched, Nigeria was the epicentre of this disease, with more than 650 000 cases reported each year.

The country has also come close to the successful interruption of wild polio virus transmission from its vast and densely-populated territory.

Laboratory confirmation of the Nigeria’s first Ebola case in Lagos, was announced on 23 July. Nigeria, in the end, confirmed 19 Ebola cases, including seven deaths.

Health officials in the country reached 100 percent of known contacts in Lagos and 99.8 percent at the second outbreak site in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, according to WHO.

Based on the experience gained from the response in the 2 affected States, the national preparedness and response plan has also been revised and refined, WHO said.