24 Patients Flee Ebola Treatment Center In Congo

Democratic Republic of Congo’s health ministry said that 24 patients have fled an Ebola treatment center in Beni on Thursday.

The patients had to flee when it came under attack by people protesting the cancellation of Sunday’s presidential election in the eastern city.

Ministry spokeswoman Jessica Ilunga told Reuters that 17 of the patients had already tested negative for Ebola, while seven had not yet been tested.

Ilunga said that three patients had already returned to the center while health workers were in contact with 17 others to coordinate their return.

Health officials have addresses and phone numbers for the remaining four, she added.

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Ebola: FAAN Begins Intense Screening Of Passengers

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN  intensified thermal and body screening of inbound and outbound passengers at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos as part of efforts to sensitize them on steps taken to curtail any spread of the Ebola Virus Disease.

While conducting the media around the airport, Health officials with thermal scanners subjected inbound passengers to body screening using handheld infrared equipment to ascertain their body temperature.

The use of the hand held scanners is in addition to the thermal scanners installed at various arrival points at the airport.

The new arrangement is part of measures to sensitize passengers on the on going efforts by the government to checkmate any spread of the disease.

Speaking in an interview, Regional Manager, Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria ,Mrs Victoria Shinaba said an emergency contingency plan in line with International Civil Aviation Organization ( ICAO ) and World Health Organization (ICAO), had been activated to ensure that any passenger with traces of any communicable disease was isolated and attended to.

She said the new arrangement where passengers were screened bodily with the prescribed scanners was carried out to convince airports users that the authority was on top of the situation.

Mrs Shinaba said a few weeks ago, a mock exercise was carried out to prepare the relevant personnel on the procedure to adopt in the event of an outbreak of communicable disease.

According to her, FAAN would continue to stick to the public health emergency procedure to ensure that the relevant international standards were maintained.

The MMIA Manager said sanitizers and soaps had been provided at toilets at the airport to ensure passengers maintain a high level of hygiene.

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FG Increases Airport Screenings After Ebola Outbreak In Congo

The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) has increased screening tests at airports and other points of entry as a precautionary measure following an outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Spoesman of NIS, Sunday James, said said thermometers had been used to monitor some entrants into the country since the virus last hit the region. Screening had been stepped up since the latest outbreak in Congo.

“We are using all the facilities available to detect the virus. That means extra use of thermometers. We must take extra measures to make sure people are screened at all the entry points into the country,” he said.

Health Minister Isaac Adewale late on Wednesday said the cabinet had ordered his ministry to step up emergency surveillance at all land and airport borders, with a particular emphasis on screening people visiting from Congo.

“Nigerian Center for Disease Control (NCDC) will also consider sending some team to DRC as part of building capacity for managing  the outbreak,” he told reporters.

Recall that Ebola spread to Nigeria in 2014 when Patrick Sawyer, a Liberian-American diplomat, flew into the country from Liberia and collapsed at the main international airport in Lagos.
Nigeria was hailed as having contained the virus in 2014, with 8 deaths, following fears that it could spread through the commercial capital of some 20 million inhabitants and across Africa’s most populous country of around 180 million people.
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Ebola: No Screening Points, Detecting Machine At Seme Border

Screening points, detecting machines, hand sanitisers and other measures to prevent an Ebola outbreak in the country have yet to be provided at the Seme border.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) last week announced the outbreak of Ebola disease in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), prompting countries to raise their level of alertness.

Several measures have been put in place at major airports in Nigeria to prevent the dreaded disease, but no such action was seen to prevent the disease at the border.

Checks conducted by NAN showed that there were no screening points, sanitisers and detecting machines at the border.

The reports also said that travellers and residents were also yet to be sensitised on the re-emergence of the disease in DRC and measures government is putting place to curtail its spread to Nigeria.

Also, Port Health officials were not screening people going in and out of the country through the border.

A port health official, who pleaded for anonymity, told NAN that there are no equipment to screen people.

“We are aware of the recent outbreak of Ebola and the need to put measures on ground since this is the busiest border in the country, but there are no equipment for us.

“We have not been given screening machines, sanitisers have not being provided so there is little or nothing that we can do about it.

“You can be rest assured that once we have the necessary equipment and logistics, we would carry out all the measures that is needed to curtail this dreaded disease,” the source said.

Besides, commuters around the border area who spoke to NAN do not have knowledge of the recent outbreak of Ebola in DRC.

Tomiwa Sadipe, a commercial bus driver, said he was not aware of the recent outbreak.

“I have not heard about anything. As a matter of fact, I’m just hearing this from you but I’m glad I know so I will be careful,” Mr. Sadipe said.


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Ebola Outbreak: Nigeria On Red Alert

The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole has called for heightened vigilance and intensified awareness efforts over the latest outbreak of Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Minister noted that health care providers and the general public must report any sign of illness to public health officials immediately.

This is coming as the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has assured of adequate surveillance at the nation’s airports. Henrietta Yakubu, FAAN’s Acting General Manager, Corporate Affairs, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that there was no direct flight from Congo to Nigeria and that all the preventive measures being put in place at the airports were still in place.

The federal government in response to the announcement by the World Health Organisation (WHO) which confirmed cases of Ebola in the DRC has directed port health officials to step up inspection activities and to report any sick person or suspects to ensure that epidemiologists in the states where they are present are immediately alerted and relevant tests conducted.

The symptoms to look out for include; fever, fatigue, weakness dizziness and muscle aches. Patients with more severe cases show bleeding under the skin, internal organs or even from bodily orifices like mouth, eyes, and the ears.

Nigerians are urged not to panic as the Centre for Disease Control is on ground and equipped to secure the health of citizens. The agency has for a while now, been strengthening states capacities to detect, manage and respond to hemorrhagic fevers including Lassa fever.

The minister called on states to begin social mobilisation and media awareness efforts via TV, radio, print and social media and charged state health ministries to strengthen their supervision services and escalate any incident appropriately.

Yakubu FAAN’s spokesperson, said that port health officials were at alert at all airports, adding that the authority had also informed them of the need to increase surveillance.

“We don’t have direct flights from Congo, we only have from Rwanda but I want to assure members of the public that we still have all preventive measures in place at our airports.

“There are sanitisers at our arrivals with the scanning apparatus called thermal scanners being installed by the Port Health Services.

“The scanners have camera monitors that display pictures aside the capturing of temperature.

“Passengers still fill that form to ensure that people arriving the country through our airports are not potential carriers of deadly diseases.

“The port health officials are always at alert and we will also inform them of the need to increase their surveillance.

“So, there is no cause for alarm,” she said.

Nigeria experienced the Ebola virus in July, 2014 when a Liberian-American, Patrick Sawyer, who had the virus flew from Liberia to the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos and died five days later.

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WHO Declares Ebola Outbreak In DR Congo

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

At least one person has died after contracting the virus in the country’s north-east, the WHO says.

The Congolese health ministry had notified the WHO of a “lab-confirmed case” of Ebola, it added on Twitter.

More than 11,000 people died in the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014-2015, mainly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

The last outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo was in 2014 and killed more than 40 people.

Of the nine people suspected to have contracted the deadly virus, three died, with one case of Ebola confirmed through tests at the national laboratory in the capital Kinshasa, WHO Congo representative Allarangar Yokouide said in a statement.

People began to get sick on or after 22 April in Bas-Uele province in the country’s far north, he added.

The region affected lies 1,300km (800 miles) north-east of Kinshasa, close to the border with the Central African Republic.

“It is in a very remote zone, very forested, so we are a little lucky. But we always take this very seriously,” WHO Congo spokesman Eric Kabambi told Reuters news agency.

The WHO described the outbreak as “a public health crisis of international importance”.

It said the first teams of experts, including epidemiologists, biologists and hygiene specialists had been dispatched and were due to arrive in the affected region by Friday or Saturday.


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