Port Harcourt, 02 September 2014- The WHO country Representative in Nigeria, Dr Rui Vaz in company of Operations Officer, Mr Alieu Wadda, and the Incident Manager, Ebola Operations Centre, Dr Faisal paid a visit to the Governor of Rivers State, Rt. Hon Rotimi C. Amaechi and the Commissioner of health, Dr Sampson Parker, to discuss the response to the outbreak of Ebola virus disease in the State.
In his remarks, Dr Rui Vaz commended the leadership and commitment the State has provided in the outbreak response so far and urged that ownership be reinforced in the coming days to rapidly contain the outbreak. He also stated that more resources need to be made available and rapidly disbursed to strengthen the response operations.
The WR noted with pleasure, the provision of a befitting Emergency Operations Centre and a 26-bed Isolation facility for the management of EVD cases but advised that preparations be made for a quick expansion of the isolation facility should the need arise. He also informed that WHO has deployed fifteen technical experts in various fields of the response such as Epidemiology/surveillance, case management, infection prevention and control at the Points of Entry to the State to support the EOC in the response and stop transmission of the disease. WHO is also building the capacity of the local staff and providing logistic support in terms of transport, communication and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). In addition, WHO is providing leadership in coordinating the response efforts of other partners such as UNICEF, CDC, and MSF.
The Governor, Rotimi C. Amaechi, while responding, appreciated the support provided by WHO and other partners to the State since the onset of the outbreak and informed that the government was fully ready to combat the outbreak. He stated, “this epidemic is not a joke, we need to contain it quickly so that more people don’t contract the disease”. He promised to continue to lead the response and added that his government will do “whatever is needed to stop Ebola”.
The first confirmed case of EVD was reported on the 27th Aug 2014 in a deceased doctor who had attended to a primary contact of the index case. His spouse and sister have also been confirmed to have the disease.
For more information, please contact:
Dr MUSA, Emmanuel, Disease Prevention and Control (DPC) Adviser,
World Health Organization