The minister said, those dead are the first patient, the late Liberian-
America’s Mr Patrick Sawyer, and the Lagos nurse who treated
Another nurse, he said, has tested positive to the virus and was
The minister spoke on the deadly disease and government’s efforts
to curtail its spread.
He said 177 primary and secondary contacts of the index case had
been placed under surveillance or isolation after 22 days of the
EVD outbreak in Nigeria.
Chukwu said: “Of these 10, two have died; that is, the Liberian-
American, Mr Patrick Sawyer and the Nigerian nurse. Eight are
alive on treatment.”
The disease, he said, was discussed at a sub-regional level as a
substantive agenda during the Summit of the Authority of Heads of
State and Government in July in Accra, Ghana.
Nigeria, the minister said, played a leading role with the first and
only donation of $3.5 million (N500 million) humanitarian and
capacity building aid to Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, all in
West Africa, the West African Health Organisation (WAHO) and the
ECOWAS Ebola Fund.
He said the Liberian government had expressed sympathies and
regrets that the late Sawyer embarked on the tragic journey, which
has brought sufferings, death and stress to Nigeria’s health
Chukwu said: “In the same spirit, we share in solidarity, the grief of
the governments and people of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone as
we confront this challenge together.”
The minister said the government would continue to discharge its
responsibilities as the sub-region confronts the Ebola outbreak.
He said President Jonathan approved the National Ebola Virus
Disease Emergency Containment Plan with cash backing of N1.9
billion ($12 million) to complement the containment efforts already
Chukwu said the Federal Government, through its Ministry of
Health and its agencies, had been working closely with the World
Health Organisation (WHO), United Nation Children’s Fund
(UNICEF), the United States Centre for Disease Control and
Prevention (USCDC), local authorities and other international
partners to deepen and broaden the containment efforts.
He said: “We will continue to work with all stakeholders, local and
international partners to maximise and intensify efforts to contain
and treat the existing cases.”
Chukwu explained that those under surveillance did not have any
symptom but were being monitored daily. The minister said the
team visited 144 of those under surveillance to take their
temperature and ask questions in line with the WHO template.
Although he did not rule out the possibility of those who had direct
(primary) contacts with Sawyer to still be symptomatic, Chukwu
said their incubation period was over.
EBOLA TRIAL DRUG
He also said besides the N1.9 billion fund the Federal Government
provided, the government had also donated $3.5 million to fight
the virus in the three Ebola-ravaged countries.
On the use of trial drugs on Ebola patients in United States (U.S),
the minister explained that there was nothing wrong administering
the trial drugs on patents, especially under the present condition,
as long as it is with the consent of the patient.