ABUJA (NAN) ― The Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, said on Friday that the ministry was collaborating with other ministries to protect Nigerians from being infected by the Ebola virus.
Chukwu told newsmen in Abuja that surveillance had been mounted in all the entry points into the country to stop the spread of the virus from other country.
He said the ministry was collaborating with the Ministries of Interior and Agriculture and Rural Development to protect Nigerians from the Ebola virus.
The minister said the World Health Organisation met with Ministers of Health from West and Central Africa in Accra, Ghana, to discuss how the disease could be curtailed in those areas.
“In Nigeria, we are carrying out surveillance through port health services at entry points.
“You know the way Nigerian land borders are; sometimes there are leakages with people just walking through unauthorised borders areas.
“We are working with other agencies because we cannot do it alone, Ministry of Agriculture is already monitoring the migrant populaces.
“They are monitoring migrants who are nomads. We need to also work with Ministry of Interior in terms of checking our borders,’’ he said.
Chukwu said the disease had no vaccine, and advised travellers’ into affected places to take precaution.
“What we do is watch out for people coming from these areas, particularly those travelling from other ECOWAS countries into Nigeria.
“We need to monitor, track them and be sure that even when they have fever, we are sure of the type of fever it is.
“There are no vaccines and that is the danger, if there were vaccine the Federal Government will procure them and begin immunisation, so we depend on surveillance,’’ he said.
He also advised Nigerians to be mindful of the fruits they consume as bats were the main carriers of the virus.
The minister said although the virus did not affect the bats, they played a key role in the Ebola case in Guinea.
He commended President Goodluck Jonathan for approving the white paper permitting the upgrading of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control into a parastatal.
Chukwu said the parastatal would be positioned to properly handle cases of disease. (NAN)
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