Ambassador, ECOWAS Staff, 57 Others Listed Among Travellers Who Made Contact With Ebola Victim

Nigeria Ambassador to Liberia, Chigozie Obi-Nnadozie and 58 others have contact with, Patrick Sawyer, the victim of Ebola Virus Disease, EVD, who died in Lagos last Thursday, says the Lagos State Government. At a news conference on Monday 27.

July at the Lagos State Government Secretariat in Alausa, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria, Lagos Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris disclosed that 59 people had contact with the late Sawyer, which include the Nigerian Ambassador to Laberia.

“So far, a total of 59 contacts have been registered consisting 44 hospital contacts (38 healthcare workers and six laboratory staff) and 15 Airport contacts, comprising 3 ECOWAS staff-driver, Liaison, and Protocol officer, Nigerian Ambassador to Monrovia, two nursing staff and five Airport passenger handlers. “As of the time of this report, 20 contacts had been physically screened of which 50% are type 1 contact and 50% had had type 2 contact. Airline manifest has not been provided by the airline at the time of this report and therefore the precise number of passenger contacts is yet to be ascertained, especially as two flights were involved (Monrovia-Lome and Lome-Lagos),” he disclosed.

On case management, infection prevention and control, Idris said an isolation ward had been designated by the Lagos State Ministry of Health at the Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba for case management, adding that the designation of three other health facilities was underway.“A total of 100 Personal Protective Equipment, PPE, were procured by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC and the Federal Ministry of Health, FMOH have been distributed to the private hospital and the State Ministry of Health. WHO also donated 250 PPEs to the NCDC/FMOH.

“Adhering strictly to WHO guidelines, the body of the deceased patient was decontaminated using 10% sodium hypochlorite and cremated, with the permission of the government of Liberia. A cremation urn has been prepared for dispatch to the family. The vehicle that conveyed the remains was also fully decontaminated,” he stated.
According to Idris, government could categorically state that as of today only one case of imported Ebola and one death had been recorded in Lagos, saying that no Nigerian had been infected, but that all contacts were being actively followed.
“We call on all Nigerians to be calm and not panic and do hereby assure them that both the State and Federal Governments are up in arms to ensure that the virus did not escape and that no Nigeria is infected with this virus,” he assured.
He said preliminary laboratory investigation conducted by the NCDC AI virology laboratory of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital and the World-Bank Funded African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID) Redeemers’ University, detected viral DNA and that in both blood and urine samples obtained from the patient were positive for the Pan Filo virus analysis and Ebola Zaire MGB virus strain- specific analysis, adding that samples were also collected for further confirmation at the WHO Collaborating laboratory for Ebola in Dakar.
On the 40-year old Liberian vidtim, Idris said he arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos from Monrovia via Lome on Asky Airline Flight No KP50, on his way to Calabar for the 8th ECOWAS Retreat of Heads of Offices meeting, as a senior ECOWAS official in Liberia.
He stated that his plane was reported to have had a brief stop in Accra and Lome, and the aircraft was changed at Lome, explaining that he was also reported to have fallen ill while on board and remained very ill on arrival at the airport in Lagos as he was then assisted by various airport and ECOWAS protocol staff to a private hospital named First Consultant Medical Centre, Obalende, in Lagos.
“An initial diagnosis of suspected Viral Haemorrhagic fever was made. He was admitted and investigations were carried and supportive treatment was commenced. The private hospital immediately notified the State Ministry of Health who also notified the Federal Ministry of Health. The patient however died at about 6.50am on the 25th July 2014,” he explained.
Idris disclosed that the Joint Federal and State Team on the basis of all experiences gathered from the response to this outbreak recommended to mobilize funding for response activities, logistics and supplies; train and orientate health staff on the Ebola outbreak response Standards Operating Procedures and supply laboratory diagnostic supplies or activate the mobile VHF laboratory.
Other recommendations, he said, were to provide adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), organize psychosocial support and provide incentives to health personnel involved in Ebola outbreak response, design key messages in the local language and intensify public enlightenment in the local languages and involve the community in response activities.

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