News / Africa

    Nigeria Declares State of Emergency Over Ebola

    A Nigerian port health official uses a thermometer on a worker at the arrivals hall of Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, Aug. 6, 2014.
    A Nigerian port health official uses a thermometer on a worker at the arrivals hall of Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, Aug. 6, 2014.
    VOA News

    Nigeria's president has declared a national emergency over the Ebola outbreak, while the World Health Organization says the epidemic now constitutes an international public health emergency.

    Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan Friday approved nearly $12 million of emergency funds to contain the outbreak, which has led to two deaths in the commercial capital, Lagos. President Jonathan also asked schools to extend their holidays and urged religious and political groups to avoid holding large gatherings that might spread the virus.

    Also Friday, the World Health Organization reported the number of deaths from the epidemic in four West African countries continues to rise. It said total number of cases stands at 1,779, and that 961 of those people have already died.  

    The WHO declared the outbreak an international health emergency that requires an extraordinary response to stop its spread.

    At a news conference in Geneva, WHO director Dr. Margaret Chan said the four West African countries affected by Ebola "do not have the capacity to manage an outbreak of this size and complexity," and appealed for greater international aid.

    Authorities in Liberia and Sierra Leone have already declared public health emergencies and moved to limit people's movements in an effort to stop the virus from spreading.

    Liberia's Assistant Minister of Health Tolbert Nyenswah told VOA that Liberian health workers are afraid of being infected and need more international help.

    "WHO, CDC, MSF need to mobilize these people to come to Liberia and give courage to our health workers that are panicking because of the numbers of them getting infected," said Nyenswah.

    He also said that Liberia's government has started discussions with the U.S. National Institutes of Heath to see about obtaining some experimental medicine that seems to be helping two U.S. health workers who contracted Ebola in Liberia.

    "We have started already, some level of discussions with the NIH to see how we can tap into some of those trial medications and vaccines that they [American health workers Writebol and Brantly] are having, so discussions have already started and they are in a very premature stage."

    The current Ebola outbreak is on pace to infect more people than all previous outbreaks of the virus combined.

    On Thursday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention activated its emergency operation center at the highest level in response to the outbreak.

    The CDC chief, Dr. Thomas Frieden, told a congressional hearing on Ebola that his agency will soon have 50 disease experts in West Africa, and that he is confident the virus will not result in any major outbreak in the United States.

    There is no known cure or vaccine for Ebola. Patients may experience fever, vomiting, diarrhea, body aches and uncontrollable bleeding from all openings in the body, including the eyes, mouth and ears. Initial symptoms are often similar to malaria.

    Some information in this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    August 09, 2014 11:54 AM
    Whatever name the measures are called, emergency situation demands emergency solution. Ebola infection is a death sentence, not just like a death sentence. If any person has been "condemned" by ebola sickness, having only three days to live after confirmation of the infection is more than an emergency. Therefore everything must be done, including every frantic effort to see what can be salvaged of the life in 72 hours - which is all the time in the world an infected patient has. Now there is a drug that is undergoing trial use. It has worked in animals used in the experimental run. At worst it will cause some other disturbance to the victims but will effectively administered to effect a cure. Which measure is better - that every infected victim dies or that infected victims receive a cure but show some side effects that may require another direction of management? I should suggest that instead of just making it the dreaded death sentence it is now, the trial medicine should be tried on directly humans and from its performance get first hand weakness and strength of the drug on human species instead of wasting more time and lives waiting to perfect it using animals. The emergency solutions demands that the president issues an immediate decree to deploy the trial medicine on the infected humans now, and if need be prepare for whatever compensation that may arise from the emergency decree to use the drug on humans. It is better to pay compensations than allow those lives to be wasted the way ebola renders life hopeless once it is confirmed. The high profile status of lives that have fallen victims of ebola infection is regrettable, even though no life is to be looked down upon. President Jonathan should order an immediate deployment of that trial drug to manage any detected infection in the country, like it has been done in USA. We can count the cost later.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora