Friday, August 15, 2014

To Dr Ameyo Stella Adadevoh and Other Ebola Victims in Nigeria

Thursday, August 15, 2014

She has become, for me, the face of our struggle against the Ebola Virus Disease that has so put us on edge in Nigeria, even as it has decimated populations and devastated national health systems elsewhere in West Africa.

Yes indeed, Dr Ameyo Stella Adadevoh placed herself in harm's way as she battled to save the life of Mr Patrick Sawyer. She did what all doctors are trained to do. She put her life on the line.

Today, as she makes what I hope will turn out to be a successful struggle for her life, I note how proud I am to be a doctor, to belong to a crop of individuals who give themselves so that others may live, who sacrifice all that there is to sacrifice and more in order to ensure that others live well, who employ all means available to ensure that the conditions be made right for efficient and effective health care delivery, and sometimes get vilified for that.

Working alongside her colleagues and the nurses and other hospital staff at First Consultants, Dr Adadevoh was able to put us all on red alert regarding the changing status of Nigeria with respect to the epidemic.

It is true that two nurses, including Justina Echelonu, have already succumbed to the shepherd's crook-shaped virus. It is true that Dr Adadevoh is still ill. It is true that the government of President Jonathan is fiddling with the Residency Training Programme of doctors while Lagos burns in the wake of the Ebola onslaught.

But it is also true that there are a lot of people working and praying for Dr Adadevoh and the others who have been hit by this virus to somehow survive the illness. There are those in government and out of government who hope that the so-called experimental drugs (not Nanosilver please) will get to Nigeria in time to ensure that those health workers who lost their lives to Ebola did not lose their lives in vain. There are those who wish that the government will be sufficiently concerned by the plight of these people as to quit playing politics and harness all the diplomatic leverage it can in getting the Americans and other Westerners to send us whatever meaningful - really meaningful - help they can.

There are people like me who salute the courage of the nurses and doctors and other staff who attended to Patrick Sawyer and in the process became visible sufferers of the effects of that exposure.

As I pray for the repose of the souls of those nurses, and for full recovery - assisted or otherwise - for those yet alive, I thank God for the fact that regardless of what all Nigerians think, I belong to a class of people who society defines as doctors, and who define themselves by how completely they have been able to improve the lives of others. 

Note: On Tuesday, August 19, 2014, Dr Adadevoh became the fifth Ebola virus fatality (mortality) in Nigeria. She was a consultant endocrinologist and was the first Nigerian to be diagnosed with the disease in Nigeria during the 2014 outbreak. May she rest in peace. Amen.

EBOLA: Global Toll Vastly Underestimated - WHO

Thursday, August 15, 2014
(Reuters) - Staff with the World Health Organisation battling an Ebola outbreak in West Africa see evidence the numbers of reported cases and deaths vastly underestimates the scale of the outbreak, the U.N. agency said on its website on Thursday.
The death toll from the world's worst outbreak of Ebola stood on Wednesday at 1,069 from 1,975 confirmed, probable and suspected cases, the agency said. The majority were in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, while four people have died in Nigeria.

The agency's apparent acknowledgement the situation is worse than previously thought could spur governments and aid organisations to take stronger measures against the virus.
"Staff at the outbreak sites see evidence that the numbers of reported cases and deaths vastly underestimate the magnitude of the outbreak," the organisation said on its website.
"WHO is coordinating a massive scaling up of the international response, marshalling support from individual countries, disease control agencies, agencies within the United Nations system, and others."
International agencies are looking into emergency food drops and truck convoys to reach hungry people in Liberia and Sierra Leone cordoned off from the outside world to halt the spread of the virus, a top World Bank official said.
In the latest sign of action by West African governments, Guinea has declared a public health emergency and is sending health workers to all affected border points, an official said.
An estimated 377 people have died in Guinea since the outbreak began in March in remote parts of a border region near Sierra Leone and Liberia.
Guinea says its outbreak is under control with the numbers of new cases falling, but the measures are needed to prevent new infections from neighbouring countries.

"Trucks full of health materials and carrying health personnel are going to all the border points with Liberia and Sierra Leone," Aboubacar Sidiki Diakité, president of Guinea's Ebola commission, said late on Wednesday.
As many as 3,000 people are waiting at 17 border points for a green light to enter the country, he said.
"Any who are sick will be immediately isolated. People will be followed up on. We can't take the risk of letting everyone through without checks."

Sierra Leone has declared Ebola a national emergency as has Liberia, which is hoping that two of its doctors diagnosed with Ebola can start treatment with some of the limited supply of experimental drug ZMapp.
Canada's Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp is also exploring making more of its experimental Ebola treatment, Chief Executive Officer Mark Murray said.
Nigeria also has declared a national emergency, although it has so far escaped the levels of infection seen in the three other countries.
Health experts say government responses to the disease need to be calibrated to prevent its spread, while avoiding measures that could induce panic or damage economies unnecessarily.
That task is harder because health services have been stretched to the breaking point and mistrust of health workers among some rural communities is high. In addition, 170 healthcare workers have been infected and 81 have died.
A Liberian government document seen by Reuters shows the strain on its health ministry as it confronts the emergency.
An Ebola call centre in Monrovia is struggling to keep up with the volume and needs more staff, telephone lines and a deputy supervisor, the Ministry of Health document said.
"The case investigation team only has one vehicle so they can't get out and then there's the issue of no space at the ETU (Ebola Treatment Unit) to bring patients," it said.
Ebola is one of the world's most deadly diseases and kills the majority of those infected. Its symptoms include internal and external bleeding, diarrhoea and vomiting.
The U.S. State Department ordered family members at its embassy in Freetown to depart Sierra Leone because of limitations on regular medical care as a result of the outbreak.
U.S. President Barack Obama has discussed the outbreak with the presidents of Liberia and Sierra Leone, the White House said.
Ebola also holds economic ramifications for some West African states as disruption to commerce, transport and borders lasts at least another month, said Matt Robinson, a vice president at Moody's ratings agency.
Among the signs of the regional economic impact, Ivory Coast will not allow any ships from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia to enter its port at Abidjan, according to a port statement.
Fewer passengers are arriving at Ivory Coast's main airport from Freetown, Conakry and Monrovia because of the virus leading to a shortfall of about 4,000 passengers a month, Abdoulaye Coulibaly, chairman of Air Cote d'Ivoire, told Reuters.
Ivory Coast and its eastern neighbour, Ghana, have recorded no cases of Ebola. Ghana's government said it would step up its funding for preventative health and impose a moratorium on international conferences for three months as a precaution.
Beyond the immediate impact, Africa faces a problem of perception over Ebola, even though many countries are remote geographically, economically and culturally from those suffering the outbreak.
In one example, Korean Air Lines Co Ltd said it will suspend flights to and from Nairobi, Kenya, from Aug. 20 to prevent the spread of the virus.
Kenya Airways Inc said it will continue its flights to Monrovia and Freetown. Kenyan Transport Minister Michael Kamau told a news conference the Korean Air decision may have been based on a WHO statement that Kenya should be classed as high risk of Ebola because of those direct flights.
"The statement by WHO yesterday was regrettable. It was retracted," he said.

There was no immediate comment from WHO.


NMA Strike: Federal Government Sacks Resident Doctors, Discontinues Residency Training in Nigeria - The Punch

Thursday, August 15, 2014

THE Federal Government on Wednesday sacked all resident doctors in the country.
In a press release by the Deputy Director of Press, Federal Ministry of Health, Alhaji Isiaka Yusuf, the Federal Government said it had to do so after exploring all avenues to end the strike, which it said had compounded the health crisis in the country.
It would be recalled that the Nigeria Medical Association had directed its members nationwide to go on strike on July 1. The National Association of Resident Doctors, an affiliate of the NMA, has put its numerical strength at about 16,000.
“The situation has been compounded by the recent importation of the Ebola Virus Disease into Nigeria on July 20, 2014. Following the Presidential declaration of a National Public Health Emergency on Ebola Disease, which has united the entire country in the efforts to contain the disease, it is quite regrettable that the people who should take leadership role in the fight against the Ebola disease are now the most unsupportive,’” the statement said.
The resident doctors were unceremoniously relieved of their jobs after the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, on Wednesday, issued a directive terminating the residency training programme for doctors in the country until further notice.
The PUNCH learnt that the development, however, was without prejudice to the employment of locum doctors on six months renewable contract tied to excellent performance.
In a circular by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Mr. L.N. Awute, to all Chief Medical Directors and medical directors in public hospitals across the country, said the development was “for the purposes of appraising the challenges in the health sector’.

“The honourable minister has directed that you issue letters of termination of Residency Training appointment to the affected Resident Doctors in your hospital immediately,’’ Awute said.
In another copy attached to the letter, the ministry also directed the CMDs to pay “salaries and allowances for one month in lieu of notice.”
“You are required to surrender all hospital property in your possession, including any staff identity card,” the statement added in the instruction to the doctors affected by the development.
The National Association of Resident Doctors, has however, described the directive as unfortunate.
In a telephone interview with our correspondent, the NARD president, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Dr. Moroof Abdulsalam said the development would be resisted. Abdulsalam who said he was not sure of the exact number of doctors affected, however disclosed that there are over 60 centres in Nigeria where residency training programmes are undertaken. According to him there are about 200 resident doctors in each of the centre.
“It came as a shock to us. As we speak, the national officers of the Nigeria Medical Association and the NARD are meeting. We are waiting for further directive. We have told our members to remain calm in the face of this provocation. We all know that resident doctors are the engine rooms of the health sector especially in this country where we have a shortage of specialists. That anyone would even moot the idea is unimaginable. The Lagos State Government did it two years ago and we all know what happened. We will resist this,” he said.


Note: The NMA strike has since been suspended and the sack of the resident doctors reversed by the government.


BY Ogbonnia Nwachi.

In the beginning, God created man in His own image and after His own likeness (Imago Dei). Today, man creates God in his own image and after his own likeness. Can you beat that? When HIV/AIDS came, some Pastors interpreted the scourge as a disease 'sent' by God to punish 'sinners'. They forgot that besides sex, HIV/AIDS could also be transmitted through blood tranfusion, use of HIV contaminated syringes and other sharp objects, and that both 'sinners' and 'saints' can become victims by error of omission or commission. As a result, they preached about HIV/AIDS and promoted the stigmatization of victims until the Federal Government came up with massive sensitization of the citizenry and called churches to order.
This time around, it is Ebola. Ebola has landed like a bolt from the blues and these Pastors have come again. Watch their lips and you will agree that they enjoy moments of misfortune. Which god told them that he sent Ebola to deal with the unrighteous? Perhaps, the god they created in their own image and after their own likeness. How many of them are ready to put their life on the line like our medical doctors and nurses? How many of them can volunteer, at their own peril, to attend to Ebola patients like the Sierraleonian young medical doctor, who treated 100 cases and equally lost his own life? Do they now want to tell us they are more righteous than these medical doctors? After the demise of Mr. Patrick Sawyer, the man through whom the 'export' of Ebola from Liberia into Nigeria was accomplished, we have lost a medical doctor and two nurses, who came in contact with him. Others are now quarantined with many others on surveillance. Do these Pastors want to tell us that they are better human beings than these unfortunate victims of the virus? Why all these lies against God? Scientists are spending sleepless nights, researching on possible drugs to tackle this menace and save the entire humanity from becoming endangered species, while some Pastors are busy, lying against God.
Do they think they are safe, assuming Ebola spirals out of control? What they do is what my people usually say about the legendary tortoise; "all its cleverness is to satisfy the 'drumbeats' of its own stomach". These Pastors catch in on crises opportunities such as the Ebola scenario to win more converts and smile to the bank. Ebola, which is the worse health menace in the history of man, has ironically become a blessing to some Pastors. These are Pastors, whose putrified covert actions, smell to high heavens. These are Pastors, whose claims to 'spiritual powers' to perform 'miracles' and pull down mountains, are yet to be demonstrated in the face of Ebola in Africa. We have them all over the place. In Lagos alone, the 'birth' place of Ebola in Nigeria, they are legion, but how many of them had volunteered to visit the patients in their places of quarantine and lay their hands on them or do they think the victims dont need miracles? Prophet T.B. Joshua had tried by exporting thousands of bottles of "holy water" and cash in dollars to Sierraleone for use by Ebola patients.
To him, charity begins abroad. Nonetheless, we are yet to hear of any impact made by his "holy water" in Sierraleone since the export was made. We have heard about the American Zmapp and the one produced by a Nigerian scientist in Diaspora and sent to us as experimental drugs, but "holy water"? No. This is the extend some of our self-acclaimed men of God can ridicule the nation. Dangote has donated about N150m to the fight against Ebola. He is not a Christian. Some of these Pastors, who own fleets of private jets are richer than him. Perhaps, they are still waiting for the god they created in their own image and likeness, to direct. Perhaps, they wont donate to help a 'sinner', ravaged by Ebola. Dont they get sick? They do with their wives and children because they are human beings.
They fly abroad for treatment, but when their members are sick, they pray for them and give them "holy water" to drink. Do you blame them? This is what happens when a congregation had chosen the path of 'zombysm' to please their Pastors. Be that as it may, Pastors are trying. At least, within the period you are held spellbound in their churches by their preachings and near entertaining acrobatic displays on the pulpit, you dance, clap and forget your sorrows like Shina Peters. But they should stop being hypocritical and sanctimonious. Throughout his life and times, Jesus Christ never said any disease was sent by God to punish anybody. He went about, doing good.

Monday, August 11, 2014


WHO Statement on the Meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee Regarding the 2014 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa

WHO statement 
8 August 2014
The first meeting of the Emergency Committee convened by the Director-General under the International Health Regulations (2005) [IHR (2005)] regarding the 2014 Ebola Virus Disease (EVD, or “Ebola”) outbreak in West Africa was held by teleconference on Wednesday, 6 August 2014 from 13:00 to 17:30 and on Thursday, 7 August 2014 from 13:00 to 18:30 Geneva time (CET).
Members and advisors of the Emergency Committee met by teleconference on both days of the meeting1. The following IHR (2005) States Parties participated in the informational session of the meeting on Wednesday, 6 August 2014: Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria.
During the informational session, the WHO Secretariat provided an update on and assessment of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The above-referenced States Parties presented on recent developments in their countries, including measures taken to implement rapid control strategies, and existing gaps and challenges in the outbreak response.
After discussion and deliberation on the information provided, the Committee advised that:
  • the Ebola outbreak in West Africa constitutes an ‘extraordinary event’ and a public health risk to other States;
  • the possible consequences of further international spread are particularly serious in view of the virulence of the virus, the intensive community and health facility transmission patterns, and the weak health systems in the currently affected and most at-risk countries.
  • a coordinated international response is deemed essential to stop and reverse the international spread of Ebola.
It was the unanimous view of the Committee that the conditions for a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) have been met.
The current EVD outbreak began in Guinea in December 2013. This outbreak now involves transmission in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. As of 4 August 2014, countries have reported 1 711 cases (1 070 confirmed, 436 probable, 205 suspect), including 932 deaths. This is currently the largest EVD outbreak ever recorded. In response to the outbreak, a number of unaffected countries have made a range of travel related advice or recommendations.
In light of States Parties’ presentations and subsequent Committee discussions, several challenges were noted for the affected countries:
  • their health systems are fragile with significant deficits in human, financial and material resources, resulting in compromised ability to mount an adequate Ebola outbreak control response;
  • inexperience in dealing with Ebola outbreaks; misperceptions of the disease, including how the disease is transmitted, are common and continue to be a major challenge in some communities;
  • high mobility of populations and several instances of cross-border movement of travellers with infection;
  • several generations of transmission have occurred in the three capital cities of Conakry (Guinea); Monrovia (Liberia); and Freetown (Sierra Leone); and
  • a high number of infections have been identified among health-care workers, highlighting inadequate infection control practices in many facilities.
The Committee provided the following advice to the Director-General for her consideration to address the Ebola outbreak in accordance with IHR (2005).

States with Ebola transmission

  • The Head of State should declare a national emergency; personally address the nation to provide information on the situation, the steps being taken to address the outbreak and the critical role of the community in ensuring its rapid control; provide immediate access to emergency financing to initiate and sustain response operations; and ensure all necessary measures are taken to mobilize and remunerate the necessary health care workforce.
  • Health Ministers and other health leaders should assume a prominent leadership role in coordinating and implementing emergency Ebola response measures, a fundamental aspect of which should be to meet regularly with affected communities and to make site visits to treatment centres.
  • States should activate their national disaster/emergency management mechanisms and establish an emergency operation centre, under the authority of the Head of State, to coordinate support across all partners, and across the information, security, finance and other relevant sectors, to ensure efficient and effective implementation and monitoring of comprehensive Ebola control measures. These measures must include infection prevention and control (IPC), community awareness, surveillance, accurate laboratory diagnostic testing, contact tracing and monitoring, case management, and communication of timely and accurate information among countries. For all infected and high risks areas, similar mechanisms should be established at the state/province and local levels to ensure close coordination across all levels.
  • States should ensure that there is a large-scale and sustained effort to fully engage the community – through local, religious and traditional leaders and healers – so communities play a central role in case identification, contact tracing and risk education; the population should be made fully aware of the benefits of early treatment.
  • It is essential that a strong supply pipeline be established to ensure that sufficient medical commodities, especially personal protective equipment (PPE), are available to those who appropriately need them, including health care workers, laboratory technicians, cleaning staff, burial personnel and others that may come in contact with infected persons or contaminated materials.
  • In areas of intense transmission (e.g. the cross border area of Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia), the provision of quality clinical care, and material and psychosocial support for the affected populations should be used as the primary basis for reducing the movement of people, but extraordinary supplemental measures such as quarantine should be used as considered necessary.
  • States should ensure health care workers receive: adequate security measures for their safety and protection; timely payment of salaries and, as appropriate, hazard pay; and appropriate education and training on IPC, including the proper use of PPEs.
  • States should ensure that: treatment centres and reliable diagnostic laboratories are situated as closely as possible to areas of transmission; that these facilities have adequate numbers of trained staff, and sufficient equipment and supplies relative to the caseload; that sufficient security is provided to ensure both the safety of staff and to minimize the risk of premature removal of patients from treatment centres; and that staff are regularly reminded and monitored to ensure compliance with IPC.
  • States should conduct exit screening of all persons at international airports, seaports and major land crossings, for unexplained febrile illness consistent with potential Ebola infection. The exit screening should consist of, at a minimum, a questionnaire, a temperature measurement and, if there is a fever, an assessment of the risk that the fever is caused by EVD. Any person with an illness consistent with EVD should not be allowed to travel unless the travel is part of an appropriate medical evacuation.
  • There should be no international travel of Ebola contacts or cases, unless the travel is part of an appropriate medical evacuation. To minimize the risk of international spread of EVD:
    • Confirmed cases should immediately be isolated and treated in an Ebola Treatment Centre with no national or international travel until 2 Ebola-specific diagnostic tests conducted at least 48 hours apart are negative;
    • Contacts (which do not include properly protected health workers and laboratory staff who have had no unprotected exposure) should be monitored daily, with restricted national travel and no international travel until 21 days after exposure;
    • Probable and suspect cases should immediately be isolated and their travel should be restricted in accordance with their classification as either a confirmed case or contact.
  • States should ensure funerals and burials are conducted by well-trained personnel, with provision made for the presence of the family and cultural practices, and in accordance with national health regulations, to reduce the risk of Ebola infection. The cross-border movement of the human remains of deceased suspect, probable or confirmed EVD cases should be prohibited unless authorized in accordance with recognized international biosafety provisions.
  • States should ensure that appropriate medical care is available for the crews and staff of airlines operating in the country, and work with the airlines to facilitate and harmonize communications and management regarding symptomatic passengers under the IHR (2005), mechanisms for contact tracing if required and the use of passenger locator records where appropriate.
  • States with EVD transmission should consider postponing mass gatherings until EVD transmission is interrupted.

States with a potential or confirmed Ebola Case, and unaffected States with land borders with affected States

  • Unaffected States with land borders adjoining States with Ebola transmission should urgently establish surveillance for clusters of unexplained fever or deaths due to febrile illness; establish access to a qualified diagnostic laboratory for EVD; ensure that health workers are aware of and trained in appropriate IPC procedures; and establish rapid response teams with the capacity to investigate and manage EVD cases and their contacts.
  • Any State newly detecting a suspect or confirmed Ebola case or contact, or clusters of unexplained deaths due to febrile illness, should treat this as a health emergency, take immediate steps in the first 24 hours to investigate and stop a potential Ebola outbreak by instituting case management, establishing a definitive diagnosis, and undertaking contact tracing and monitoring.
  • If Ebola transmission is confirmed to be occurring in the State, the full recommendations for States with Ebola Transmission should be implemented, on either a national or subnational level, depending on the epidemiologic and risk context.

All States

  • There should be no general ban on international travel or trade; restrictions outlined in these recommendations regarding the travel of EVD cases and contacts should be implemented.
  • States should provide travelers to Ebola affected and at-risk areas with relevant information on risks, measures to minimize those risks, and advice for managing a potential exposure.
  • States should be prepared to detect, investigate, and manage Ebola cases; this should include assured access to a qualified diagnostic laboratory for EVD and, where appropriate, the capacity to manage travelers originating from known Ebola-infected areas who arrive at international airports or major land crossing points with unexplained febrile illness.
  • The general public should be provided with accurate and relevant information on the Ebola outbreak and measures to reduce the risk of exposure.
  • States should be prepared to facilitate the evacuation and repatriation of nationals (e.g. health workers) who have been exposed to Ebola.
The Committee emphasized the importance of continued support by WHO and other national and international partners towards the effective implementation and monitoring of these recommendations.
Based on this advice, the reports made by affected States Parties and the currently available information, the Director-General accepted the Committee’s assessment and on 8 August 2014 declared the Ebola outbreak in West Africa a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). The Director-General endorsed the Committee’s advice and issued them as Temporary Recommendations under IHR (2005) to reduce the international spread of Ebola, effective 8 August 2014. The Director-General thanked the Committee Members and Advisors for their advice and requested their reassessment of this situation within 3 months.

Sunday, August 10, 2014


The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) wishes to commend President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan GCFR for declaring the Ebola viral disease (EVD) a national emergency. This presidential declaration which came on the heels of an earlier declaration of EVD as an International Public Health Emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO) Director General, Dr Margaret Chan, underscores the serious attention the Nigerian government and the global community attaches to the Ebola Viral Disease outbreak, and the need to bring the situation under perfect control.

The Ebola pandemic calls for total involvement of all Nigerians as well as concerted efforts from all health experts and professionals, irrespective of class or place of abode.

In this regard, the efforts of the Federal Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) as well as other bodies are appreciated.

Consequently, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) hereby directs all Nigerian doctors to get actively involved in this control battle and provide all the needed professional expertise to ensure the situation is brought under control as quickly as possible. All State Branch Officers Committees are directed to immediately liaise with their respective Commissioners for Health, Information, Housing and Urban development, Environment and Water Resources, Education, as well as the Directors of Medical Services and Directors of Public Health with a view to fashioning out effective strategies to prevent the spread of the Ebola Virus. Also to be engaged are key traditional rulers, religious leaders, market leaders, Okada riders and Road Transport Workers unions to ensure dissemination of necessary information on preventive and protective measures.

The foregoing notwithstanding, the NMA notes with sadness that doctors and nurses, the usual frontline health care givers and who mostly bear the hazards of health care, have been falling victims of the disease while in their line of duty.
NMA therefore calls on Government at all levels to ensure that all the necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are made available to doctors and other healthcare workers to reduce the casualties and mitigate the risks these humanitarian service providers face. Government at all levels, Chief Medical Directors/Medical Directors and proprietors of private hospitals are hereby reminded that this is not the time to subject doctors and nurses, and indeed other health workers, to unnecessary hazards.

The NMA therefore, advices all doctors and nurses to insist on being well protected through provision of appropriate PPE before getting involved in the high risk components of the control processes. The need to ensure all Health workers have Life Insurance Cover can no longer be ignored. The recent outbreak of Lassa fever that claimed the Lives of several Health workers and now Ebola are clear indications. It will not be out of place for government to institute a well packaged Life Insurance policy for all health workers, particularly all those involved in this battle against Ebola and other Viral Haemorrhagic Diseases.

Furthermore, the State Chairmen of NMA are directed to set up Ebola control committees that will collaborate with the State Ministries of Health, International Governmental and Non-Governmental Organizations, and volunteer teams to actualize the goal of combating the Ebola disease scourge. The National body of NMA shall coordinate the efforts of her State branches.

The lives of Nigerians are paramount to members of the NMA/Doctors and Dentists. We wish to place on record that irrespective of the on-going strike action of the NMA (due to her dispute with the Federal Government), the Association effectively responded to other national disasters like the bomb blasts in Kano, Kaduna and Bauchi respectively in keeping with our commitment to attend to any disaster anywhere in the country while the strike lasts. This is in accordance with our oath of placing the lives of patients above all considerations. The same oath mandates us to do all in our powers to maintain the noble traditions of medicine, which at the moment are under serious threat in Nigeria.

It is in the same vein, that we are directing our members(Nigerian doctors and dentists) to rise up to the ‘EBOLA’ disaster and mobilize massively to contain and eradicate the devastating Ebola disease in our land under adequate protection with Personal Protective Equipment. The NMA national office highly appreciates her Lagos colleagues for their giant strides so far in this battle. We enjoin government to ensure that those under quarantine do not leave Lagos to any other part of the country during their quarantine period.

While rising up appropriately to any health challenge in the country, we shall ensure that justice, sanity and lasting peace prevail in the health system of Nigeria. Government has the obligation to support us in this germane crusade. Finally, we call on all Nigerians and the International community to prevail on the Federal Government to do the needful as requested by the NMA that will bring about a speedy resolution of the impasse. 


Dr. Adewunmi ALAYAKI 

(courtesy: Bravery Agi on Facebook · Sunday, August 10, 2014)

Friday, August 8, 2014



Please disregard broadcasts, posts, and other mass communication campaigns asking you to drink or bathe with salt and water as a way of combating Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). Drinking or bathing with salt and water have no proven value in Ebola control. Do not be deceived.

At least for now, cover yourself up if you live or move in bat-infested areas.

Apply the greatest possible caution in the preparation and eating of bush meat. If possible, avoid it altogether for the time being.

It is helpful to spread information that helps combat the spread of the virus. Do not broadcast messages that instead mislead people or cause pandemonium.

Drinking salt and water will kill a hypertensive man or woman faster than it will kill the Ebola virus, and the only person who gains is the salt merchant who started this rumor as a business strategy.

One cannot conscientiously make money by encouraging others to die.

God bless Nigeria.

Picture credits: Chibunna Eva Mbanefo (on Facebook)