AU vows efforts to mitigate new Ebola outbreak in DRC

Wednesday, 16 May, 2018

Congo's health minister on Thursday announced the first death since the outbreak was declared early this week, though the hemorrhagic fever blamed for the death has not been confirmed as Ebola.

The lawmakers resolved to urge the Minister of Interior, Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (retd.), "to take necessary steps to check immigration".

To forestall an outbreak in Nigeria, as experienced in Nigeria in 2014, Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos-APC) presented a motion on the issue on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, WHO has been given the go-ahead by officials in the DRC to import and use an experimental Ebola vaccine in the country, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

According to the World Health Organisation April 4 through May 13, has witnessed 39 Ebola virus disease cases in DRC, including 19 deaths.

"Such aloofness by the government is directly responsible for the escalation of killings and bloodletting in Benue, Taraba, Adamawa, Plateau, Kogi, Zamfara, Borno, Yobe, Kaduna states and others parts of the country, where marauders and insurgents are pillaging our citizens as if overlooking the plight of Nigerians has become a state policy".

"The Senate is anxious that unless we prepare our hospitals, properly equipped with the Ebola vaccine where necessary, this is an epidemic we might be unable to take up and will only cause untold hardship".

Senate has appealed with the Joint Health Sector Union, JOHESU, to call off the on going three weeks old strike which has affected the health sector across the country. In his contribution, Victor Umeh (APGA, Anambra Central), said alarm raised by Tinubu on Ebola via the motion was timely "because prevention is better than cure as Ebola dealt a bad blow on the country in recent past, with the loss of medical personnel and some other people".

On Friday the United Nations health agency had announced that it was preparing for all scenarios, including the worst-case scenario, in the latest Ebola outbreak in DRC.

While the risk of the latest outbreak spreading into other countries is low, nine nearby countries have been put on high alert, Salama said. "Nigeria must be well prepared this time around against the outbreak of Ebola because prevention is far better than cure", he said.