The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, NCDC says the risk of Ebola virus importation and health impact on Nigerians is High.
NCDC’s Director General, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa said this was the outcome of the just concluded rapid risk assessment done by the NCDC-led multisectoral National Emerging Viral Hemorrhagic Diseases Technical Working Group in partnership with stakeholders.
According to Dr. Adeifa, the assessment of the data puts Nigeria at risk of importation because the Sudan Ebola Virus does not currently have an effective drug for treatment or vaccine for prevention, and that the extent of the outbreak in Uganda has not been ascertained as investigations showed that some persons died from similar symptoms and were not reported to health authorities.
He noted that in some cases, their burials were not conducted safely to prevent transmission.
The NCDC Director General said other reasons include; increased air travel between Nigeria and Uganda, gatherings associated with politics, the coming yuletide as well as other religious gatherings and festivals during the last few months of the year.
Despite this risk assessment, the NCDC Director General said Nigeria has the technical capacity, workforce and diagnostic to respond effectively in the event of an outbreak.
Currently, no case of EVD has been reported in Nigeria.
Writing by Nancy Anikaezie; editing by Oluwaseyi Ajibade, Annabel Nwachukwu