Monday 16th January, 2017
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11 Ebola Virus Disease volunteers to undergo screening for 21 days

11 Ebola Virus Disease volunteers to undergo screening for 21 days

The last 11-member team of  Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) volunteers who were dispatched to  Sierra Leone and Liberia by the Nigerian government to help halt the spread of the virus  have returned.

188 volunteers had earlier returned in May this year.

They arrived in Nigeria through the  Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport Abuja on Tuesday.

They would however be screened and monitored  for 21 days before they could be officially certified  in line with the health protocol of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The 11 volunteers were received by the Permanent Secretary in the  Federal Ministry of Health, Mr. Linus Awute, in company of other senior officials of the Ministry.

Speaking at a brief  reception, the Permanent Secretary applauded the commitment and dedication of the volunteers.

Represented by the Director Ports Health Services, Dr. Sani Gwarzo,  the Permanent Secretary described the volunteers as "national heroes" and commended them for being good ambassadors of  Nigeria.

Mr. Awute recalled that in the spirit of African brotherhood, "204 volunteers were deployed to two countries plagued by the EVD in the sub region in December 2014 to support  the containment efforts under the umbrella of the African Union Support to Ebola Outbreak in West Africa (ASEOWA). 
"188  Nigerian volunteers had returned in May this year and with the return of the last batch from Sierra Leone and Liberia, the programme has been brought to an end.
"No Nigerian volunteer was infected with the Ebola Virus Disease. I am happy that all of them have come back safely."

Earlier, the National Coordinator of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) Prof. Abudaslami Nasidi, said that their details are going to be captured in the data base of the NCDC  assuring that anytime their skills or expertise are required, they would be called upon.
Speaking with journalists, one of the returnee volunteers, Womi Oboma Eteng, said that he coordinated the Ebola data unit for the mission in Sierra Leone.

He recalled that initially, the Ebola fatality figures were very high, averaging 300 deaths weekly in Sierra Leone.

He however said that the situation had improved drastically.