Nigeria minister of health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu has confirmed that a Nigerian female nurse had died of Ebola Virus Disease. The nurse was one of the medical officers that attended to a Liberian, Patrick Sawyer, who died few days on arrival in Lagos from his country a couple of weeks ago.
The minister did not disclose the name of the nurse, who is the first Nigerian to die of the deadly virus, even as Nigeria is now believed to have recorded seven confirmed cases of Ebola Virus Disease. The first one was the index case – the imported case from Liberia and the victim died.
According to the Minister the death of the nurse on 5th August, 2014, was the first known Nigerian case “and this was one of the nurses that attended to the Liberian. The other five cases are currently being treated at the isolation ward in Lagos.
“The 24/7 emergency operations centre will be fully functional tomorrow. It will be headed by Dr Faisal Shuaibu as the incident manager. He will later today lead a six-man inter-agency team drawn from the National Primary Health Care Development Agency and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to Lagos to complete the setting up of the centre.
“They will be joined by the other personnel from Lagos state government and the federal hospitals in the Lagos area as well as the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
“We are making arrangements to procure isolation tents to quicken the pace of providing isolation wards in all states of the federation and the federal capital territory.
“We are also setting up a special team to provide counselling and psychosocial support to patients, identified contacts and their families,” he said. The minister reassured Nigerians the government “was working hard to ensure the containment of the outbreak”.
The Ebola virus has claimed over 800 lives in West Africa, prompting the World Bank on Tuesday to mobilise $200 million in emergency funding to contain the disease. [myad]