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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 10:40 am 
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They second nurse, Justina Obi Ejelonu, who had close contact with Patrick Sawyer has died, raising the Lagos death total to four.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 10:41 am 
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Another nurse, Justina Obi Ejelonu who attended to late Liberian Patrick Sawyer while he was ill at the First Consultant hospital in Lagos, has died.
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25 year old Justina died this morning in a quarantine facility in Lagos.

Ms. Ejelonu, one of those who had primary contacts with Patrick Sawyer at a Lagos Hospital where he received treatment after he was rushed from the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos where he collapsed, was very vocal in the campaign for the release of the ZMapp experimental drug to Nigerian Ebola disease patients.


She was previously working at Otunba Tunwase National Peadiatric Centre, Ijebu Ode in Ogun state before relocating to Lagos to work at First Consultant Hospital Obalande months ago.

Her relatives confirmed the news.

Also confirming the news of her death, the Abia state governor, Theodore Orji regretted the demise of the nurse, and commended her for her selfless service to the nation. In a statement issued on Thursday afternoon, the governor prayed for the repose of the dead.

He said: ”My heart bleeds as I write this. On behalf my family, the Government and the good people of Abia State, I commiserate with Family, Friends and Colleagues of our Dear Lady Nurse, Justina Echelonu, who died following the contact she had with the Liberian American, Mr. Patrick Sawyer, in the course of discharging her duty as a nurse. I pray God to give them the fortitude to bear this tragic and irreparable loss. Rest in Peace Ms Justina Echelonu.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 10:51 am 
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Four people have now died in Nigeria since Liberian-American Patrick Sawyer brought the virus to the country Another nurse who attended to Patrick Sawyer, the Liberian national who died of Ebola Virus Disease, at the First Consultant Hospital has died, PREMIUM has learnt.

The nurse, who had been at the B Ward – a male ward which is now referred to as Ebola Ward – of the Yaba Mainland General Hospital, died in the early hours of Thursday.

By 1 p.m., Thursday, a couple of family relatives who are at the hospital were seen wiping away tears and making telephone calls. Jide Idris, the state Commissioner for Health, who was at the hospital declined to confirm the development to PREMIUM TIMES.

The death of the nurse brings to four the number of people who have died of the virus in Nigeria.

News of the passing of the nurse came as the Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, a professor, disclosed at a news conference in Abuja that another of the doctors who treated the late Patrick Sawyer has tested positive to the deadly virus. Details later…. -

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:28 am 
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Obi Justina Ejelonu, a nurse who attended to Patrick Sawyer, a Liberian-American Ebola carrier who flew to Nigeria on his way to attend a conference in Calabar, has died. Her relatives rang SaharaReporters moments ago with news that she passed away this morning. Ms. Ejelonu had been kept in a quarantine facility in Lagos.

Until her death, the outdpoken nurse was at the center of a campaign to get the Zmapp experimental drugs to Ebola victims in Nigeria. John Okiyi-Kalu started the Internet campaign a few days ago.

Ms. Ejelonu was one of the primary contacts with Patrick Sawyer at a Lagos Hospital where he received treatment after he was rushed from the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos where he collapsed. She was aged 25, her relatives said.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 12:57 pm 
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Nigeria records fourth case of Ebola fatalities in Lagos
Aug 14,2014
ABUJA, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- Nigeria on Thursday recorded the fourth case of Ebola fatalities following the death of a nurse who came in contact with Liberian Patrick Sawyer, the index case of the virus in the West African country, local media reported.

The nurse died early Thursday at the Yaba Mainland General Hospital in Nigeria's most populous city of Lagos, according to local online newspaper Premium Times. An official statement confirming the development was yet to be issued.

However, relatives of the deceased arrived at the health facility Thursday afternoon to mourn their dead. They gathered in groups, making phone calls to other relatives and weeping inconsolably.

Jide Idris, commissioner for health in the southwestern Nigeria's state of Lagos, was also at the hospital. He left the health facility after a brief meeting with the staff, but declined to make official comment on the death of the nurse.

The nurse's death sums up the total number of Ebola fatalities in Nigeria to four. The first was the death of Sawyer on July 25.

Another nurse who had attended to the Liberian died on Aug. 5. Jatto Asihu Abdulqudir, a 36 years old staff of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was also killed by the Ebola virus on Tuesday, according to the regional bloc.

The Nigerian government had on Monday confirmed 10 cases of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) with 177 persons under surveillance.

Last Friday, Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan declared a national emergency, saying a sum of 1.9 billion naira (11.6 million U.S. dollars) will be released to prevent further spread of the Ebola Virus.

Ebola, which spreads through body fluids and has killed over 1000 people in West African countries, is believed to be very difficult to control.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 6:11 pm 
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These are sad days in Nigeria. Another nurse who had contact with late Liberian-American Mr. Patrick Sawyer is dead. Nurse Obi Justina Ejelonu, who attended to Patrick Sawyer, a primary carrier of the deadly virus who flew to Nigeria on his way to attend a conference in Calabar, died in Lagos.

Relatives of the beautiful Nurse have confirmed the unfortunate news about her death, adding that Ms Ejelonu had been kept in a quarantine facility in Lagos, after she tested positive to Ebola.

Until her death, the outspoken nurse was at the center of a campaign to get the ZMapp experimental drugs to the Ebola victims in Nigeria. May her peaceful soul rest in peace. Amen!

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 7:25 pm 
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Ebola Update: How nurse who treated Patrick Sawyer died

August 14, 2014
Ben Ezeamalu

The second nurse who died on Thursday at the Yaba Mainland General Hospital, Lagos, from the Ebola Virus Disease was brought to the hospital by her husband, who was bathed with bleach and let go.
This was revealed to PREMIUM TIMES by a source, who did not want to be named because he was not authorised to speak for the family.
According to the source, the nurse was brought to the Isolation Unit of the hospital after her husband noticed she had started developing symptoms of the viral disease.
The nurse admitted to her husband that she had been in contact with the Liberian after Mr. Sawyer was discovered to have died of the disease, the source said.
“The Liberian, Mr. Sawyer, was at (First Consultant Medical Centre, Obalende) for about four days before he died. And she was one of the nurses who attended to him,” the source said. “When she started exhibiting all those Ebola symptoms some days ago, the husband hired a taxi at about 11 p.m. and brought her here where she had been in admission. The husband and the taxi driver were bathed with JIK (bleach) and the car was also treated before they were let go.”
When PREMIUM TIMES visited the Mainland Hospital on Wednesday, a dark skinned man identified as the deceased’s husband was seen moving restlessly outside the hospital’s Isolation Unit.
On Thursday, he arrived in the company of two women who, when they learnt about the nurse’s passing, struggled to fight back tears.
Hours later, the deceased’s husband, who was on the phone for most of the afternoon, was seen putting on a protective gear in preparation to enter the Isolation Unit.
A nurse working in the Isolation Unit corroborated the story, adding that about eight people were still quarantined in the ward.
Two weeks ago, at his first press conference in Lagos after the Ebola outbreak, the Lagos Commissioner for Health, Jide Idris, said that 44 people at the First Consultant Medical Centre had had contact with Mr. Sawyer.
Of that figure, 38 were health workers while six were laboratory staff.
Health minister confirms
The Minster of Health Onyebuchi Chukwu in a statement, on Thursday evening, confirmed the death of the nurse.
Mr. Chukwu also disclosed that Nigeria now had 10 confirmed cases of Ebola Virus Disease, EVD.
He said out of these, four had died and six were currently receiving treatment.
Mr. Chukwu also stated that the total number of persons under surveillance in Lagos were now 169, adding that they were all secondary contacts as all the primary contacts had completed the 21-day incubation period and delisted to resume their normal lives.
The Minister also noted that there was no Ebola Virus Disease in Enugu.
“All cases are still confined to Lagos State. Also, reports of Ebola Virus Disease in Abia, Imo, Akwa Ibom and Anambra States as well as the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja have all been investigated and none of them was found to be Ebola Virus positive,” he said.
He, however, said that Enugu State now had six persons under surveillance as 15, after complete evaluation, were found not to have had contact with a nurse, a primary contact of Mr. Sawyer, who became symptomatic and tested positive and was one of the 10 confirmed cases.
The nurse, who had been placed under surveillance in Lagos, disobeyed the Incidence Management Committee and travelled to Enugu, the minister said.
He noted that at the time the nurse made the trip, she was yet to show any symptom and did not infect anyone on her way as transmission of the disease was only possible when a carrier of the virus becomes ill.
“However, she has since been brought back to Lagos. Before the return journey, she had become symptomatic and had to be conveyed to Lagos with her spouse in special ambulances. The husband is not symptomatic neither is he positive for Ebola Virus Disease but has been quarantined given the intimate contact with her while in Enugu,” Mr. Chukwu said.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 7:32 pm 
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WHO pushes back against Ebola-related flight bans
Filed Under: Ebola
Lisa Schnirring | Staff Writer | CIDRAP News | Aug 14, 2014

With some airlines suspending flights to West Africa's Ebola outbreak region, the World Health Organization (WHO) today restated its position that the risk of disease transmission during air travel remains low, as a few doses of an investigational drug reached Africa.

Korean Air Lines (KAL) announced today that it would suspend flights to Nairobi, Kenya, starting Aug 20 to prevent the spread of Ebola virus disease (EVD), according to a report today from Reuters. KAL operates three return flights from Nairobi each week. Kenya has not reported any Ebola cases and does not border the affected area, though the WHO has urged it to take extra precautions, given the volume of travel between it and the outbreak countries.

Earlier this month, British Airways said it was suspending service to Liberia and Sierra Leone because of the EVD outbreak. Emirates Airlines, based in Dubai, has also suspended flights to Guinea.

So far, only one travel-related illness has been detected, in an airline passenger from Liberia who was sick upon his arrival in Nigeria, an event that sparked a transmission chain in the capital, Lagos. However, some airlines are concerned about the safety of passengers and staff who might need to seek care in a medical facility in outbreak countries.

WHO repeats advice against flight suspensions
Isabelle Nuttall, MD, director of the WHO Global Capacity Alert and Response, said in a WHO statement today that unlike flu and tuberculosis, Ebola doesn't spread through the air. "It can only be transmitted by direct contact with the body fluids of a person who is sick with the disease."

The WHO added that on the small chance that someone on a plane is sick with Ebola, the likelihood of other passengers and crew having contact with their body fluids is even smaller. Typically, when a person is sick with Ebola, they are so unwell that they can't travel. Health experts also say people who are infected with Ebola can't shed the virus until they have symptoms.

Last week the WHO's emergency committee on Ebola said the outbreak developments in West Africa qualify as a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC), and it recommended a set of measures to curb the spread of the disease. The panel urged no bans on international travel or trade and that countries make sure they have the capacity to identify and care for travelers from Ebola-affected areas who arrive at travel hubs or destinations with unexplained fevers or other symptoms.

On its Twitter account today, the WHO said international airlines in affected countries are putting systems in place to screen passengers for possible infections. Global health officials have said exit screening in outbreak countries is likely to be more effective for flagging illnesses than entry screening in destination countries, because nonstop flights from African countries aren't the most common route, and it's more difficult to track passengers when they take multi-leg flights.

The WHO also tweeted that it is disappointed when airlines stop flying to West Africa: "Hard to save lives if we and other health workers cannot get in." (??)

Treatment, vaccine developments
In treatment developments, the first three doses of the experimental drug Zmapp arrived in Liberia last night, with two of them earmarked for two of the country's doctors who are in an isolation center at a hospital in Monrovia, the capital, AllAfrica reported today.

A Liberian health official said the government negotiated with the company, with the approval of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to explore how the drugs could be given to the patients in Liberia. He also said negations are underway with other firms developing experimental Ebola drugs, including the Canadian company Tekmira, which makes the only Ebola treatment that has entered clinical trials.

Meanwhile, the president of NewLink Genetics Corp., which is developing an experimental Ebola vaccine based on technology developed by Canadian government researchers , said at least two contract manufacturers have been found to produce "tens of thousands" of doses in the next month or two, according to Reuters.

Charles Link, MD, told Reuters that the company's subsidiary has received funding from the US Department of Defense to speed up clinical trials and manufacturing. Canada's government recently announced that it will donate 800 to 1,000 doses of the vaccine that it has on hand to the WHO for use in battling the outbreak.

In another move that could speed development of an experimental treatment, BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, based in Research Triangle Park, N.C., announced yesterday that it has received an additional $4.1 million from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to conduct a phase 1 clinical trial of an intramuscular treatment for Ebola and other viral hemorrhagic fever diseases.

The additional funding for the treatment, called BXC4430, will also cover studies in nonhuman primates to gauge effective dose ranges and schedules.

The NIAID made its initial grant to BioCryst , valued at up to $22 million over 5 years, in September 2013.

In other developments, the FDA today warned consumers about online companies that are selling products to prevent or treat Ebola. In a statement it said it has received consumer complaints about a variety of products.

Though Ebola vaccines and treatments are under development, in early stages with very limited supply, there are no approved products that have been tested for safety or effectiveness, the FDA noted. The agency added that by law, dietary supplements can't claim to prevent or cure disease.

The FDA also mentioned that the CDC doesn't view the outbreak as a significant threat to the US public and noted that during outbreaks, fraudulent products that purport to prevent or treat the disease often appear on the market.

Latest African developments
Guinea's government has declared a national health emergency to tamp down the spread of Ebola, BBC News reported today, based on information from Guinea's state radio. The action is meant to trigger tighter border controls, order the immediate isolation of people with suspected infections, and prevent the movement of dead bodies from one town to another.

When the WHO declared a PHEIC on Aug 8, it urged the outbreak countries to declare national emergencies. Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria had already declared national emergencies.

Sierra Leone has lost its second top doctor to EVD, Dr Modupeh Cole, who died yesterday at a Doctors Without Borders treatment center in Kailahun, the New York Times reported.

The health ministry said he was exposed to the virus while working in a hospital in Freetown, the capital, according to the Times report.

Nigerian health officials also today reported another death of a health worker, a nurse who had helped care for the country's first EVD case, a man whose illness was detected in Lagos after he had flown in from Liberia, the Associated Press (AP) reported today.



See also:

Aug 14 Reuters story

Aug 14 WHO statement

WHO Twitter feed

Aug 14 AllAfrica story

Aug 13 Reuters story

Aug 14 FDA statement

Aug 14 BBC News story

Aug 13 Times story

Aug 14 AP story
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:11 pm 
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Ebola latest: Another nurse dies, doctor in bad state

on August 15, 2014 / in Headlines 12:00 am / Comments


By Sola Ogundipe, Chioma Obinna, Tony Edike, Okey Ndiribe, Favour Nnabugwu, Monsuru Olowoopejo, Gabriel Olawale & Racheal Adebayo

ABUJA — A nurse, Justina Obi Echelonu, one of the primary contacts who participated in the initial management of the index case, late American-Liberian, Patrick Sawyer, at the First Consultant Hospital, Obalende, Lagos, has died in quarantine.

She is the second nurse and fourth fatality of the Ebola Virus Disease in the country.

Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu confirmed her death yesterday at a joint press briefing with the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, in Abuja.

The Lagos State Ebola quarantine centre and Late Nurse Obi Justina Ejelonu
The Lagos State Ebola quarantine centre and Late Nurse Justina Obi Ejelonu
Chukwu, who disclosed that another of the doctors who treated the late Patrick Sawyer tested positive to the deadly virus, said Nigeria has now recorded 10 confirmed cases of Ebola Virus Disease, EVD, of which four have died and six are currently under treatment.

“The total number of persons under surveillance in Lagos is now 169. These are all secondary contacts as all the primary contacts have completed the 21-day incubation period and have been de-listed to resume their normal lives,” the Minister explained.

Earlier, a top medical expert who is part of the medical team of experts managing confirmed cases at the Ebola Ward of the Mainland Hospital, Yaba, Lagos, said the nurse passed away in the early hours of yesterday.

“We lost her in the early hours of today after much effort. She was one of the people that helped Sawyer when he was vomiting and stooling. That was when she contacted it,” he remarked.

Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, who spoke to our correspondent on phone, said he could not confirm the death of the nurse yet but promised to give details after the Ebola Management Committee meeting scheduled to hold at the hospital later in the evening.

Also confirming news of her death, Abia State Governor, Theodore Orji regretted the demise of the nurse, and commended her for her selfless service to the nation. In a statement issued, yesterday, the governor prayed for the repose of the dead.

“My heart bleeds as I write this. On behalf of my family, the Government and the good people of Abia State, I commiserate with family, friends and colleagues of our dear lady nurse, Justina Echelonu, who died following the contact she had with the American-Liberian, Mr. Patrick Sawyer, in the course of discharging her duty as a nurse. I pray God to give them the fortitude to bear this tragic and irreparable loss. Rest in Peace Ms Justina Echelonu.”

Ms. Echelonu is the fourth person to die of the disease in Nigeria after Mr. Sawyer died on July 25 and was followed by two other nurses.

Justina, 25, previously worked at Otunba Tunwase National Paediatric Centre, Ijebu-Ode in Ogun State before relocating to Lagos to take up appointment with First Consultants Hospital. She hailed from Mbaise in Imo State and graduated from the Department of Nursing Science in Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki.

Justina’s story before she died

“I never contacted his fluids. I checked his vitals, helped him with his food (he was too weak)….I basically touched where his hands touched and that’s the only contact, not directly with his fluids. At a stage, he yanked off his infusion and we had blood everywhere on his bed…but the ward maids took care of that and changed his linen with great precaution.

“Every patient is treated as high risk…if it were airborne, by now wahala for dey. I still thank God.

Friends, up to our uniforms and all linen were burnt off. We are on surveillance and off work till 11th.

“Our samples have long been taken by WHO and so far we have been fine. For me, kudos to my hospital management because we work professionally with every patient considered risk, because that’s the training.

“Had it been it’s a hospital where they manage ordinary gloves like government hospitals and some janjaweed private hospital, …wahala for dey o. I must also thank Lagos Govt…in fact! Even Federal Government sef (sic)…all have been supportive. I’m good and so are the others in the hospital…”

(culled from her Facebook page).

Enugu, Abia, Anambra, Abuja cleared

Further, the Health Minister stated that Enugu State now has six persons under surveillance as 15 after complete evaluation were found not to have had contact with the nurse, a primary contact of the index case who became symptomatic and tested positive and is one of the 10 confirmed cases.

“The nurse who had been placed under surveillance in Lagos disobeyed the Incidence Management Committee and travelled to Enugu. At the time she made the trip, she was yet to show any symptom and did not infect anyone on her way as transmission of the disease is only possible when a carrier of the virus becomes ill.

“However, she has since been brought back to Lagos. Before the return journey, she had become symptomatic and had to be conveyed to Lagos with her spouse in special ambulances. The husband is not symptomatic neither is he positive for Ebola Virus Disease but has been quarantined given the intimate contact with her while in Enugu.

“It is therefore important to emphasise that there is no Ebola Virus Disease in Enugu. All cases are still confined to Lagos State. Also, reports of Ebola Virus Disease in Abia, Imo, Akwa Ibom and Anambra States as well as the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja have all been investigated and none of them was found to be Ebola Virus positive,” Chukwu affirmed.

The minister reaffirmed that the last Federal Executive Council, FEC resolved to partner with the World Health Organisation, UNICEF, governors in their respective states and their commissioners for health for adequate co-operation. “We have been in contact with the private sector and Nigerian scientists both home and abroad”.

He announced that an emergency operation centre under the coordination of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), in collaboration with an inter-ministerial committee headed by the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, has been set up by President Goodluck Jonathan.

Chukwu affirmed that all the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT are well prepared to contain the virus even in the states that the EVD has not been reported aside Lagos, adding that all hands are on deck to prevent its spread within and outside Lagos.

He said President Goodluck Jonathan held an emergency meeting with all states of the Federation and the FCT to review the state of preparedness of each of the states during which each of the states gave a status report on their readiness while the Lagos State Government gave an account of the Ebola experience in the state.

Chukwu said the Federal Government and international health agencies commended the efforts of the Lagos State Government, describing it as adequate and satisfactory from preventing the spread of the virus.

He said most of the states are very well prepared ahead, and added that the World Health Organisation, commended President Jonathan for the leadership provided, especially his personal commitment to ensure that the EVD does not spread further.

He appealed to Nigerians to adhere strictly to health regulations of washing their hands with sanitizers in line with the WHO international health regulations and in keeping with international best practices in order to keep safe and healthy.

Chukwu further stated that health specialists have been positioned in all of the nation’s entry points, and active surveillance has also been stepped up. All government tertiary health institutions have also been equipped to handle any emergency that might arise from the disease.

“In Imo State, the case was that of a corpse returned from Liberia to Abia accompanied by proper medical certificate of death, and added that the deceased was confirmed to have been cleared of Ebola.

“In Anambra, a corpse was also returned from Liberia with medical certificate of death while all the people that accompanied the corpse had no Ebola

“In the case of Garki Hospital, Abuja, a diabetic and HIV patient was taken to the hospital in coma after which the doctors exhausted all necessary tests for Ebola.”

Chukwu said it was deduced that a patient that had two critical diseases, he could as well have had Ebola but the test carried out was negative hence there is no case of Ebola.

The Imo case, he said, was a case of Stephen Johnson’s syndrome, meaning that the patient reacted to a malaria drug which caused her skin to start peeling off and not a case of Ebola.

Fleeing Nurse attended wedding

Enugu state government said yesterday that nobody is quarantined in the state over the deadly Ebola virus. The State Commissioner of Health, Dr George Eze who made this known while speaking with journalists confirmed that about 20 persons were under surveillance following contact they made with the nurse who attended to the late Patrick Sawyer.

Eze stated that the state government has designated four centres including the Colliery Hospital, the District Hospital in Ikem, General Hospital in Nsukka and Oji River General hospital as isolation centres for victims of the disease.

The government’s clarification came as the state branch of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), expressed displeasure over the poor preparedness and the way in which the state government has responded to the Ebola virus issue.

The association stated that till date, medical workers in the state were still confused on where to send patients with the ailment, stressing that government has paid less attention to procuring protective devices for volunteers and health workers that could enable them attend to the cases.

Eze stated that the nurse that had contact with Sawyer defied medical advice to visit the husband in Enugu, explaining that the government had acted swiftly on receiving the information and ensured that she and the husband were taken back to Lagos.

He stated that the 20 persons placed under surveillance were due to the contact they had with the lady, explaining that they would only be isolated when they begin to manifest symptoms of the virus.

He said: “You do not quarantine somebody who is moving about because it is only when you develop symptoms that you will be able to transmit the virus and that is when you have excess viral load. It was when she came down to Enugu from what we got from her and the husband that she now started having symptoms. It was then that we were informed, we moved in swiftly and provide the wherewithal with support from expatriates that came down from Lagos, we were able to isolate her and decontaminate the house in line with WHO standard and took her back to Lagos.

“Naturally you have to try to track down the contacts anywhere. It is those contacts that have been put under surveillance. They are in their homes and they are placed under surveillance by Centre for Disease Control in Lagos”.

He stated that the panic being expressed over the development was unnecessary, stressing that the disease can only be transmitted by those who have manifested the symptoms which will unlikely be walking about the streets.

On the provision of protective gear and other materials for personnel, he said the state like others have requested for the facilities from the federal government and would ensure that the materials were not fake.

On the information that the lady in question had attended a wedding in Enugu, he said: “If somebody is well enough to attend and enjoy himself in a wedding, it is not going to transmit the virus. It is only when the person has become ill and developed symptoms”.

On why it has taken so long for the Ministry to brief the people of the state on the situation of things regarding the disease, he said that he wanted to ensure that the public were given the right information.

He said the centres earmarked have been provided with facilities such as bed among others, adding that Centre for Disease Control would soon start training volunteers.

Waivers for corpses from Ghana, India

The Health Minister said waivers were granted to corpses brought in from Ghana and India because they were not Ebola cases. He explained that the one from India died from cancer of the rectum adding that both were proper certified.

Concerns over quarantined victims

Meanwhile, fears heightened yesterday over the health of 198 Nigerians in quarantine, following reports that they are critically ill.
Although plans are underway by the Federal Government to provide Personal Protective Equipment, isolation tents and relevant facilities to halt the spread in the country, concerned Nigerians have called for technical support and expertise from the United States of America and the international community to help contain the spread of the disease in Nigeria
Speaking in Lagos, Managing Director, Premium Health, HMO, Dr. Ladi Okuboyejo, disclosed that. while a few victims have passed on as a result of infection with the virus, there is need for international intervention to halt the likely spread of the disease as the situation is beyond what the country can deal with presently.
Okuboyejo commended the chief consultant and other health workers at the First Consultants Hospital, Obalende, for promptly reporting the case to the appropriate health authorities after the late Patrick Sawyer, failed to respond to treatment. However, he pointed out that a lot more needed to be done to address the situation so that it does not get out of control in the country.
”We have been following closely and know some of the individuals that are being quarantined and it is beyond what we can deal with right now.
“This disease is new to us in the country and we have never been involved in containing this kind of outbreak. There is need for the international community to come and assist Nigeria in helping to halt the likely spread of the disease. As we speak, those quarantined are critically ill.
”I know that the Federal Government is trying its best but there is a lot more we can do to address this situation. Nigeria is too big to be ignored. This disease is new to us in Nigeria and there are experts
globally that have experience in treating Ebola globally. We need to tap into their expertise in-country. It is a learning curve for everyone. It is beyond our capacity to handle. If this gets out of control, the consequences, you know,” Okuboyejo disclosed.

Relatives of infected doctor send SOS to US, others
Okuboyejo, who led a group of relatives and concerned friends of the quarantined Senior Consultant Physician and Endocrinologist, Dr. Ameyo Stella Adadevoh, of the First Consultants Medical Centre, at a media briefing in Lagos yesterday, sent an SOS to the United States and international community.

“When you turn on your television now the first news item you hear about is Ebola. A few victims have passed on and the question is what is the state of things in our nation right now. We have been following it very closely because a couple of us happen to know a number of people who have been quarantined and it is obvious to all of us that are concerned that are sitting down here that it is beyond what we can deal with. We would not want to paint what is black white but it is beyond what we can deal with right now and therefore we feel that there is a need for us to make this urgent cry for help for the international community to come to our aid and our assistance.
“I think that it is important that we reflect back and try and see how things happened. I am a medical doctor and I am surprised that they made the diagnosis in the first instance because this is a man that could have gone somewhere else and could have been treated for malaria and he could have died and spread the thing like wild fire. However, the chief consultant that attended to these patients who is also being quarantined right now felt it was very necessary for them to send the blood sample for screening after which it was confirmed and she insisted he must not leave the Hospital.
“So I think we must get the facts right and really come out. We are particularly concerned that if someone could be so patriotic as to save millions of Nigerians from the hardship of this pestilence, the least we can do is to make an appeal to the international community for assistance.
“Two Americans were flown to Atlanta for help. The chap who brought this thing to Nigeria was an American. Our question is that what is the international community doing for us? What are they doing to help the situation because as we speak this is beyond what we can cope with. For example the patients that are there under quarantine, do they even have water? Do we have the facilities to cope with this? It is a big question mark.

“We know that the government is trying but certainly there is a lot more we can do to improve the situation. This why we are making this passionate cry and appeal to the international community to come to our aid so that this doesn’t get out of control. Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and God forbid if this runs out of control. The consequences you all know. So we have to call you to make this passionate appeal to you.”

Nigerian in Diaspora send experimental drug home

Chukwu also confirmed that a Nigerian in the Diaspora has an experimental drug for Ebola treatment. He said the drug, “Nanosilver”, would be distributed to all Ebola health centres n the country.

“The experimental drug is a donation from a Nigerian scientist in the Diaspora who was concerned about threat of Ebola in his home country. The drug will be distributed to all Ebola centres in the country”.



Dangote donates N150 million

Meanwhile, the Aliko Dangote Foundation donated N150million to fund the establishment of Ebola Emergency Centre in Lagos. In her remarks, the Managing Director of the Foundation Mrs. Igomu Agaga called on well-meaning Nigerians to collaborate with the Ministry of Health and also take personal interest in the fight against Ebola in the country.

“We are trying to look at the possible best way we can be of help in the Ebola virus crises and we decided to fund an emergency centre that will be established in Lagos in order to strengthen the Nigerian health system”.

FG warns media against running down Nigeria

Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, stated: “So far, as the ministry reported this morning, all those who had primary contacts with the subject had been quarantined which is the way the global community handles the disease and the secondary contacts have also been traced.

“There is a strong team in Lagos which has been set up by the emergency response centre that is tracing every contact that has been made with either the index case or with primary contacts. So far the number of people that have been traced is 169 are under surveillance in Lagos”.



Maku said the country had moved in a way that it had not done before, “and globally the standards we have kept, the efforts we have made, the policies we have deployed, the measures we have taken surely should give our citizens and the world at large the confidence that Nigeria is doing everything possible to contain this virus.

“In addition to this, the Ministry of Health has also been in close touch with all the state governments, and the governors are receiving continuous briefings on the measures we have taken and what we should do at the state level.”

Maku who commended the efforts of the media since the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease, EVD, said the media had been very supportive and cooperative except for one or two local media and two international agencies that had been reporting the Nigeria case as if Ebola originated from the country while he said the foreign media reported the country’s Ebola case as if global total figure of the Ebola was Nigeria’s.

“We will take action against any media that wants to run down the country for any reason. We will not allow any international media to use the Ebola to damage the corporate image of this country.”

Mandatory screening for air travellers

All passengers on international flights through the nation’s airports must be subjected to tests for the Ebola virus, it has been confirmed.

Minister of Aviation, Mr Osita Chidoka disclosed this while speaking during a courtesy visit paid him by Deputy Chief Information Officer at the United States Embassy, Ms Maria Brewer.

Further, he stated that the ministry was working on developing protocols at the airports in order to deal with diseases that are highly infectious, adding that in order to achieve the desired goal all rules are being complied with.

Commenting on the nation’s aviation status he said: “On the Category One certification status, I think we are on track and I think that all the gaps are being addressed so that by the time they come back, all the facilities would have been in place.”

He observed that the Ebola virus was not a dampener to the nation “because it will make us increase our protocols at the airport. I believe we are on track. Nigeria’s reaction to the Ebola crisis has been quite good.”

“We intend to collaborate with the embassy in several areas. This is a real challenge for us in West Africa; this unfortunate episode of the man that imported the disease into Nigeria. Our reaction has been quite swift and these measures are very far reaching and so far all the people with known primary contacts have been quarantined. We are thinking that the transport sector is going to be the purveyor of the movement from point A to point B.

“The airports being controlled environments, it would be easy for us to curtail the movement of people coming in and exiting. We have been trying to watch even people on local flights like from Abuja to Lagos. So I think our curtailment strategy has been good and proactive. I also believe that things that we need to do like the on-going screening at the airports and increment in the number of health workers being recruited are all geared towards curtailing the spread of the disease”

In her own remarks at the occasion, Ms Brewer commended the Federal Government for the steps it has taken so far to check the spread of the dreaded disease. She also confirmed that the US Embassy had been working with the ministry in Abuja and Lagos to ensure that screening of passengers is on-going at the airports.

Further, Chidoka said: “The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States has also been working very closely with Nigerian authorities at all levels to ensure that this disease is stamped out and that it doesn’t further impact on any population whether it is here in Nigeria or anywhere else. This is a top priority for the US government.”

Brewer further stated that the embassy was in synergy through “our public health communicators by making sure that the right information is given to the public on what they need to know, what to do, what the disease looks like and how to move forward as well as on individuals who can help in screening. We have also offered help to assist in screening passengers that are coming into the country and those going out.”

- See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2014/08/ebol ... eGr3j.dpuf

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2014 7:38 pm 
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Nurse Ejelonu was selfless — Friends of Ebola victim

AUGUST 17, 2014 BY BAYO AKINLOYE LEAVE A COMMENT
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Tributes have continued to pour in for the nurse at First Consultant Hospital in Lagos, Justina Ejelonu, who died on Thursday after testing positive to the Ebola Virus Disease.

Ejelonu died at the Infectious Disease Hospital at Yaba in Lagos, just as the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, announced that experimental drugs to treat her and other people infected with Ebola would soon be delivered to the health ministry.

She died at the age of 25.

Colleagues, friends and family members grieving over her death have said the late nurse was an energetic, selfless and committed health worker.

One of her friends and colleague, Jennifer Okorafor-Ukaobasi, wrote on her Facebook page that she was “so sure” the late nurse would walk out of the IDH hale and hearty.

“I write you with a heart overwhelmed with sorrow. I was so sure you were going to walk out of that Yaba quarantine bouncing.

“When you complained that oxygen was given to only the “big heads”, I was waiting to inform you that your head was the biggest among all victims because you have over 17,000 heads merged together seeing that Igbo Ville (a Facebook group) with over 17,000 members were with you all the way,” Okorafor-Ukaobasi wrote.

She added, with a final tone of resignation, “Well, now, you have passed on to be with the Lord after gallantly standing up to Ebola.

“What more can I say? We loved and love you, but Jesus loves you more. Continue to rest in the bosom of the Lord.

“Good night Justina.”

Ifeyinwa Njoku, also writing on Facebook, said she had worked with the deceased during a retreat in Enyimba in 2013. She described Obi as a generous and hard-working person.

While expressing her grief with another friend, Njoku said, “You remember when they brought that injured man towards evening; how she and one other nurse expertly bandaged him up? She shared her food with me. I’m just so sad.

“Rest in peace. We worked together during the Enyimba retreat. She worked as a volunteer nurse while I worked as an usher,” Njoku added.

Also paying tribute to the late nurse, Cynthia Onyeagba stated, “I can’t just forget her sweet face; I was directing patients from her to the doctor’s room at the Enyimba retreat.

“I am sobbing too. We were together at the retreat in December last year. I remember her taking patients’ vitals cheerfully.

“How I wish you were off duty on the day this evil man was admitted. Justina, may our good Lord accept your peaceful soul. Amen.”

Another person, Nwamara Ihemanma, described the late nurse as a selfless and caring person.

She said, “Rest in peace Justina. You died serving and giving care to mankind. May your soul rest in peace.”

Though she said she had met the nurse who died just once, Blessed Iphy said she considered her a good person.

“This is so sad. As the vaccine has been released, Justina why didn’t you hang on for a while? May your beautiful and selfless soul rest in peace. Though I only met you for a day, it’s enough for me to know that you are a kingdom candidate. Farewell,” Iphy wrote.

Ejelonu was one of the nurses that attended to Nigeria’s first Ebola victim, Patrick Sawyer, when he was brought in sick at the First Consultant Hospital Obalende, Lagos.

She was described as an outspoken individual.

While quarantined, she made a vocal appeal to the world to bring the Zmapp Ebola drug to treat infected victims in Nigeria.

In her last Facebook post, Ejelonu wrote about the action of the Liberian-American patient who eventually infected the nurse and her colleagues with the EVD.

She wrote, “I never contacted his fluids. I checked his vitals, helped him with his food, (he was too weak)…I basically touched where his hands touched and that’s the only contact. Not directly with his fluids. At a stage, he yanked off his infusion and we had blood everywhere on his bed…but the ward maids took care of that and changed his linens with great precaution.”

http://www.punchng.com/news/nurse-ejelo ... la-victim/

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