Marburg Disease: Nigeria Can Contain Any Outbreak – NCDC

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control NCDC says health authorities in the country are on red alert to monitor any outbreak of the dreaded Marburg disease as the country is equipped to contain any outbreak.

Director-General of NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu made the declaration on Thursday at the weekly Ministerial briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team.

He urged citizens not to fret over the existence of the disease in Guinea because adequate measures have been put in place to contain any eventuality.

“You would have heard the announcement of a case of Marburg virus in Guinea. Marburg is a sister broader virus to the Ebola virus with all the potentials to cause spread and panic.

“Yesterday we carried out a risk assessment at the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, we have an Ebola working group that is constantly on the alert. Right now, I can assure Nigerians that we have the reagents to detect cases should they occur, of course, our port services team has been on the alert since early this year and we would continue to do that.

“We assure everyone that we are on top of this and we will do what we need to do to be able to detect if we have a case and to respond if necessary but for now, we will continue to respond to the outbreaks we are dealing with day to day,” he stated.

The NCDC boss said cholera is already a disaster that must be given the needed attention.

“We must remind ourselves that as much as we focus on COVID, Cholera is a disaster in Nigeria right now. We have been appealing to everyone concerned; our state governments, healthcare workers and communities to do what they need to do in the short term. 

“We are already in an outbreak so there are certain things that we can’t do now. But what we can do includes insisting on boiling our water as much as we can, do massive chlorination by local chlorine and chlorinate the water we are using, to disinfect our tools, utensils and to try to prevent transmission at the moment. 

“If you see anyone in your community practicing open defecation, try to manage that situation. But in the longer term, all of us have a role to play,” he said. 

The NCDC Director-General said the recent outbreak of cholera is now in 22 states of the federation, warning that over 31,000 people have been infected and leaving 816 dead.

Also speaking, the Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuiab, said in order to further combat the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) in the country, the federal government has procured over 29 million single doses of Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines at the cost of $298.5 million (over N122 billion) to enable the country to vaccinate 70 percent of eligible members of the population.

He said that the 176,000 doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccines that arrived in the country with rollout scheduled for Monday, was part of 29 million doses the government procured that is being expected.

Rebroadcasted:Okwosi Esther

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