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

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, No voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve and do not want to take a risk by endorsing independence More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

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.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid