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Nigeria Ebola-free, but the world ‘still at risk’

Nigeria Ebola-free, but the world ‘still at risk’
October 20
19:35 2014

Onyebuchi Chukwu, who until Monday was the minister of health, is happy that Nigeria has now been certified Ebola-free, but he has warned that anyone anywhere in the world is still prone to the viral disease as long as it continues to ravage the West African countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

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Speaking at the ceremony where the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the country Ebola-free, Chukwu commended the federal government and the governments of Lagos and Rivers for their contributions towards containing the virus.

He expressed delight that such a notable feat was achieved during his term in office.

“The declaration of the end of the recent outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Nigeria represents a major milestone of the Goodluck Jonathan Administration,” he said.

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“I also congratulate the governors of Lagos and Rivers states. I am indeed gladdened that by divine providence, this declaration coincides with my leaving office as minister of health. As the outgoing minister of health, this declaration symbolically presents a dignifying seal of the achievements of the federal ministry of health during my tenure.”

Advising Nigerians to be on the alert in order to prevent another outbreak of the disease, Chukwu said efforts should be channelled towards stamping out the disease entirely, adding that the existence of the virus remains a threat.

“Nigeria has won the battle against Ebola Virus but this world war rages on other fronts in other countries,” he said.

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“This risk and the risk to other countries can only be eliminated through the setting up of a system similar to the Nigerian one under the leadership of the United Nations but with the operational wing built around ECOWAS.

“The disease needs to be eliminated from every country of the world. It is only then that each country can breathe a sigh of relief. As long as there is a case of EVD in any part of the world, every country of the world, every human being in this planet, remains at risk.”

He advised security personnel to boost the country’s surveillance system by ensuring that any case presented across the country’s ports of entry is rapidly identified and isolated.

 

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