“Today’s event is about the partnership of countries and institutions to support Nigeria’s successful efforts to contain Ebola. Nigeria under the leadership of President Goodluck Jonathan has done well as confirmed so far by World Health organisation (WHO) and others.But we cannot afford to be complacent. The Lagos and Rivers governments also deserve commendation for their quick response.For the sake of Dr. Stella Adadevoh and the Nigerian people especially the youths who are our future, we cannot afford to be complacent,” she said.
Commenting on why Nigeria was given only $1 million by ADB when the country had previously donated $3.5 million to other West African countries to contain Ebola, Okonjo-Iweala said it was given to them to prevent the disease from spreading to other parts of the world.
“A key part of Nigeria’s strategy is to help other West African countries especially Sierra Leone and Liberia because by helping them cope with the serious outbreak in their countries, we are also protecting ourselves.The case of the late Dr. Sawyer is very instructive. That is why Nigeria gave $3.5 million to other West African countries,” she said.
Meanwhile, while speaking earlier, Country Director of AfDB Group, Ousmane Dore informed that the grant given to Nigeria was part of the $60 million earmarked by the bank for the West African sub-region.
“The AfDB is to strengthen relevant institutions and response mechanisms in the battle against Ebola.The bank has a $60 million fund to support the strengthening of health systems in West African countries to cope with Ebola and other diseases in the spirit of African solidarity,” he said.
Giving a gruesome analysis of the devastating effect of the virus in Nigeria, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Linus Awute, said there have been 19 confirmed cases in Nigeria, 15 in Lagos and four in Rivers. There were also seven deaths in Nigeria: five in Lagos, two in Rivers.
“As part of support for neighbours, Nigeria is concluding arrangements for training of epidemiologists and lab scientists in other West African countries,” he said.
He said there are 40 per cent fatality cases and a total of 893 contacts and 511 contacts have been discharged while contact tracing is 100 per cent. He said that in the case of Rivers, there are 95 contact cases.Speaking on the $1m grant given to Nigeria by AfDB, Awute assured that the money would be spent transparently.