The Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) has said Nigeria stands a low chance of facing another Ebola outbreak as the chance of the virus being imported from Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo are slim due to the absence of direct routes to Nigeria.
The agency gave this assurance in a statement released on Sunday. It said this conclusion was reached after a preliminary assessment carried out by the agency on the overall risk of importation of the disease into the country.
The statement signed bt the Director of Prevention and Programmes’ Coordination of the agency, Joshua Obasanya revealed NCDC is monitoring the outbreak in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“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.
“The NCDC is working closely with colleagues at the WHO 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,” he said.
Speaking on the measure put in place to ensure adequate preparedness, Odusanya said, “Our national Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), situated at the Incident Coordination Centre (ICC) in NCDC Abuja, is functional and currently in Alert Mode for EVD.
“Our team of national first responders are on standby and ready for deployment within 24 hours when the need arises. Public Health EOCs (PHEOCs) in States where major points of entry are located (Lagos, Kano, Abuja, and Port Harcourt) are also on standby. We have improved point-of-entry screenings in major airports; the Port Health Services unit of the Federal Ministry of Health is on alert and has heightened screening measures at entry points at our ports.”