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

Syrian Rebels Poised for Anti-Russia Collaboration

Forty-one insurgent groups issue joint statement vowing retaliation for Russian air offensives More

Political Maneuver Revives Export-Import Bank's Chances

Parliamentary tactic gets bill out of committee, but it faces opposition in the Senate More

Beijing Warns US on S. China Sea Patrols

Warning follows news reports Thursday that US military is planning to sail warships close to artificial islands Beijing has been aggressively building More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
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.
House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdrawsi
Jim Malone
October 09, 2015 12:32 AM
The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

VOA Blogs