The Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control NCDC, Dr. Chikwe lhekweazu said the newly developed Ebola vaccine will be deployed to Democratic republic of Congo .
He made the disclosure while briefing journalists in Abuja.
According to the CEO of NCDC ,the development of the vaccine is a step in the right direction .
“This will be the first time, the new developed vaccine will be deployed in an Ebola outbreak .We are very grateful that one good thing that came out of the terrible news three years ago ,was the development of a new vaccine that we are now using to fight the Ebola outbreak”
In the same vein,he said there is a working group that is on stand by ,and work all the time in increasing the country’s preparedness on Ebola prevention and response ,and effort is being put in place to reactivate the group .
According to him,Ebola is not endemic in Nigeria.The priorities at the moment is to kick it out ,through screening at the port of entry ,and increase the education ,being provided for people coming in to the country, focusing specifically, on flights coming from others Africa countries, specially East and central Africa.
“We know that it is still not possible sometimes to completely prevent cases, because one can be incubating the virus even though one is not ill yet. But at the same time, we are increasing our preparedness here, as we currently have a team of first respondent”
The CEO of NCDC further reaffirmed that the best strategy is to prevent cases from leaving DRC. The good news is that we have a vaccine that we didn’t have three years ago. We have a vaccine which will be soon be deployed in a few days in the areas where the virus has emgered.
“We are hoping to be able to curtail the outbreak in DRC. If we had a vaccine three years ago, it is unlikely we would have had an outbreak that is larger.
The CEO of NCDC ,said that the long lasting solution they are taken is that they are training health personnel ,on how to handle cases in case of an outbreak.
While reacting on the team coming in from Congo to play match in the country, he said effort are being put in place to screen the participant thoroughly .
“We are fully aware of the team coming in from Congo to play a friendly match in Nigeria.We are working with the Airport authority ,the Nigeria football federation,and the ministry of health to be fully prepared to receive the team”
“We are not working not only with the Airport Authority, but with the Nigeria football federation ,and the ministry of health to ensure that we are fully prepared to receive the team”
“We are aware that they are coming, but know the people that are coming.They will be screened before they leave ,and it is a confined group. We will receive them,we will know where they are staying and we will be able to educate them”
While speaking , the Chief Medical Director of Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital noted that more awareness is being carried out more than before to sensitize Nigerians.
“We can make diagnosis more readily in the country more than ever before.
We carried out findings at the Irrua specialist teaching hospital, and match the peak of each epidemic over the last ten years ,with the various climate perimeter with the metrological agencies ”
“It is obvious, that epidemic are getting bigger ,and we must now also get talk on them as well, which is one of the reason we are doing the training sections round the country”