Nigeria donates £185,000 worth of drugs and supplies to Sierra Leone to fight ebola
NIGERIA has donated N50m (£185,000) worth of drugs and supplies to Sierra Leone in as part of the sub-regional fight against the dreaded ebola virus disease (EVD) that will involve Abuja forking out $3.5m to contain the pandemic.
Since the summer, EVD has spread across West Africa, with about 4,500 people dying from the virus, with Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia being the most affected countries. It has created an estimated 3,700 orphans across the region, leading to the international community declaring it an emergency.
In July, Nigeria was infected when Liberian Patrick Sawyer brought the virus into the country when attending a regional summit in Calabar and he came in contact with several Nigerians in Lagos. Following quick intervention, however, all the cases have been treated and Nigeria has since been declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organisation but President Goodluck Jonathan is trying to spearhead a regional effort to eliminate the virus.
As part of this campaign, the Nigerian government is donating $3.5m to a regional fund and the recent payment to Sierra Leone represents the first tranche of the money. At a regional summit in Cotonou, health minister Dr Khaliru Alhassan, announced that Nigeria has already mobilised and trained over 600 health workers as volunteers to support the containment effort in the affected countries.