Sokoto (NAN) –
The Minister of State for Health, Khaliru Alhassan, on Saturday said the Federal Government had procured vehicles for effective patrol of the nation’s borders to prevent further spread of Ebola virus.
Alhassan announced this at a news conference in Sokoto on government’s efforts to contain the spread of Ebola virus.
The minister said “we are collaborating with the Federal Ministry of Interior and all its agencies in this direction. “This is with the view to adequately man the nation’s porous borders and not to take any chances’’, he added.
Alhassan said government had formed a specialized rapid response team to totally deal with the menace.
He said the team comprised doctors, medical laboratory scientists and other medical professionals.
The minister added that the team also included medical experts from the centers for disease control from (Atlanta) USA, Geneva, Medicins Sans Frontiers and other Nigerian health professionals.
“Nigeria is not yet out of the woods, but the federal government is fully prepared to contain the problem.
“The major challenge is getting the understanding of Nigerians, especially those under quarantine’’, he added.
Alhassan said 13 cases of the Ebola disease were confirmed, including the importer of the disease, Liberian Patrick Sawyer.
According to him, seven persons have been discharged, while six, including Sawyer, died of the Ebola virus.
“Over 400 persons are still under watch, while one case is outstanding in Lagos, with two isolation centers in operation in Lagos and Port Harcourt’’, he explained.
On doctors’ residency program, the minister said government had not sacked any resident doctor.
“The federal government only stopped the residency program because they went on strike.
“The program is intact but government will review it and assess the situation with a view to making it more vibrant’’, Alhassan added.