Following a preliminary risk assessment conducted by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the overall risk of importation of Ebola Virus Disease to Nigeria from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda is low.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control is monitoring the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo and recent cases in Uganda. The Nigeria Ebola Preparedness team, coordinated by the NCDC, has conducted a preliminary risk assessment following the recent confirmation of EVD in Kasese District of Uganda.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Director, Prevention and Programmes’ Coordination of the agency, Dr Joshua Obasanya.
“Outbreaks of EVD are known to bear the risk of international spread, hence the rationale for continual evaluation of Nigeria’s potential risk amidst regional trade and flight route within the region. Based on available data, the overall risk of importation of EVD to Nigeria remains low. This is also in line with WHO’s risk assessment for Nigeria. There are no direct commercial flights and no known direct trade routes to Nigeria from Uganda. The current transmission pathway of the disease in Uganda is through unmanned land borders and further away from the capitals of both Uganda and Nigeria.
“However, the Nigeria Ebola Preparedness Team has put in place several measures to ensure adequate preparedness. Our national Emergency Operations Centre, situated at the Incident Coordination Centre in NCDC Abuja, is functional and currently in Alert Mode for EVD. Our team of national first responders is on standby and ready for deployment within 24 hours when the need arises,” Obasanya said.
To prevent the spread of Ebola, the NCDC advises members of the public to adhere to the following precautions:
- Wash your hands frequently using soap and water – use hand sanitizers when soap and water is not readily available
- Avoid direct handling of dead wild animals
- Avoid physical contact with anyone who has possible symptoms of an infection with an unknown diagnosis
- Make sure fruit and vegetables are properly washed and peeled before you eat them
Health care workers are advised to ensure universal precautions at all times. This includes the use of personal protective equipment always when handling patients.
The NCDC is working closely with colleagues at the World Health Organisation Nigeria Country Office, who are in close contact with WHO African Region and Ministries of Health in Uganda and DR Congo, to determine the risk of spread to other African countries. Our multi-sectoral technical working group has heightened situational awareness on the ongoing outbreak in both countries.
NCDC remains fully committed and capable of protecting the health of all Nigerians from infectious disease outbreaks.
NCDC Toll-free Number: 0800-970000-10
Dr Joshua Obasanya,
Director, Prevention and Programmes’ Coordination
For: DG, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control