Nigeria says the risk of Ebola importation from DR Congo, Uganda remains low

File Photo: Port Health Official screening passengers for Yellow fever at the International Terminal of Nnamdi Azkiwe International Airport in Abuja on Wednesday (30/5/18) /Albert Otu/ICE/NAN
  • Nigeria says overall risk of importation of Ebola Virus Disease to Nigeria from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda is low.
  • This is the outcome of a preliminary risk assessment conducted by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)
  • NCDC says the Nigeria Ebola Preparedness Team has put in place several measures to ensure adequate preparedness.

The Nigerian government said the overall risk of importation of Ebola Virus Disease to Nigeria from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda is low.

This is the outcome of a preliminary risk assessment conducted by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) following the outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the Democratic Republic of Congo and recent cases in Uganda

In a statement by Dr. Joshua Obasanya, Director, Prevention and Programmes’ Coordination, over the weekend, NCDC said “based on available data, the overall risk of importation of EVD to Nigeria remains low. This is also in line with the WHO’s risk assessment for Nigeria.”

“There are no direct commercial flights and no known direct trade routes to Nigeria from Uganda. The current transmission pathway of the disease in Uganda is through unmanned land borders and further away from the capitals of both Uganda and Nigeria,” the statement reads in part.

NCDC, however, said the Nigeria Ebola Preparedness Team has put in place several measures to ensure adequate preparedness.

Our national Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), situated at the Incident Coordination Centre (ICC) in NCDC Abuja, is functional and currently in Alert Mode for EVD.

"The national first responders are on standby and ready for deployment within 24 hours when the need arises while public health officers are on standby at various point of entry in the country."

Last week, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) signed a joint declaration of intent with Robert Koch Institute (RKI) to address the possibility of an Ebola outbreak.

Dr. Lothar H. Wieler, RKI President, says he believes this partnership will help strengthen Nigeria's health security.

"The partnership between NCDC and RKI is a mutually beneficial opportunity for national public health institutes to collaborate towards global health security. It greatly demonstrates the fact that countries are mutually dependent on one another for health security," he had said.

Ebola Virus Disease, also known as Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever (EHF) or simply Ebola, is a viral hemorrhagic fever of humans and other primates caused by Ebola viruses. It is caused by an infection with one of five known Ebola virus species, four of which can cause disease in humans. The virus can be transmitted via direct contact with bodily fluids of a person who is sick with or has died from EVD.

The virus can enter the body stream through broken skin or mucous membranes in the eyes, nose, or mouth and can also be spread through contact with objects contaminated by infected persons as well as direct contact with the blood, body fluids and tissues of infected fruit bats or primates.

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