News / Africa

    Nigeria President Unhappy with Ebola Stigmatization

    FILE - Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit at the State Department in Washington, Aug. 6, 2014.
    FILE - Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit at the State Department in Washington, Aug. 6, 2014.
    Peter Clottey

    Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan Wednesday condemned the stigmatization of Nigerians travelling abroad, due to the recent outbreak of Ebola in the country.

    In a meeting with David Nabarro, Special Envoy of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, Jonathan said there was no justification for such stigmatization, since his administration has made significant efforts to contain the disease. He specifically expressed concern about actions at the Youth Olympics in China.

    “President Jonathan pointed out that it is unfortunate that there have been attempts by some countries to stigmatize Nigerians when they travel abroad,” said presidentials spokesman Reuben Abati. “When our youth team went for sporting competition in China, they were prevented from taking part in that event and they had to return home and the Nigerian government felt very bad about it and President Jonathan drew attention to what happened in China.”

    Four countries in West Africa including Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria are battling the Ebola disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates the total number of probable and confirmed cases in the current outbreak of Ebola virus disease is 3,069, with 1,552 deaths. The WHO also said the disease could affect about 20,000 people before the crisis is over.

    Abati said the government has been successful in preventing the Ebola outbreak from becoming an epidemic.

    “The commendation by the United Nations, clearly shows that Nigeria has done very well in controlling and containing the spread of the virus after the index case that occurred here,” said Abati.                                        

    Local media quoted Nabarro as praising Nigeria’s effort to contain the outbreak.

    “The secretary-general asked me to come here too, not because you have an Ebola problem, but because you have tackled it in an exemplary fashion… Your personal leadership on the matter has been key," he said. "There may still be some work to be done before the virus is completely cleared out from here, but other countries can learn from your fine example.”

    Abati said Jonathan assured the special U.N. envoy that his administration will continue with efforts to eradicate Ebola.

    He said the government in Abuja will soon contact countries that are alleged to have attempted to stigmatize citizens to resolve any concerns.

    “I believe that the statement by President Jonathan would be the first step in drawing international attention to the attempts by some countries to stigmatize citizens of other countries,” said Abati.

    “We do not expect that, with the level of information that is available on the Nigerian situation, other countries would go out of their way to stigmatize Nigerians. Because effectively in Nigeria, the government has been able to control and contain the spread of the virus,” he said.

    You May Like

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Chuzymatics from: Nigeria
    August 29, 2014 6:59 AM
    A friend in need is a friend indeed. Events have shown that China is only interested in Africa's resources and abandons her when tragedy strikes. We did not stigmatize them when they had SARS

    by: bob from: Chad
    August 29, 2014 3:47 AM
    Ridiculous. This is not an "us" versus "them" issue and it is not about who you are (liberian, Nigerian, Congolese). This is about a very serious virus that everyone should be concerned about and measures need to be taken to stop the spread. DO NOT turn this into some sort of race issue or stigmatization. That is backward thinking and does not resolve the real issue
    In Response

    by: bob from: chad
    August 30, 2014 10:20 AM
    In response to Chidi. First of all I am not sure what you are really trying to say. Your president is avoiding the issue and throwing blame at others. The problem here is the virus. Deal with the Virus. So far it is not contained. It has spread to Port Harcourt and it has spread to Senegal. Would you call that "contained?" I would not! Therefore, each country in the world should be concerned. This is not about discrimination or stigmatization. This is about isolating the problem and destroying it or curing it. The borders in Africa and in many other areas of the world are porous. A simple bribe here or there or a paddle across the lake gets you in or out of a country. WHO, and others are trying to help the affected countries but you cannot allow everyone to wonder all over the place if there is a possibility of contamination and a spread of that contamination. It does not make sense. Again this is a reality check.. This is like the black plague many years ago.. IF NOT CONTAINED it will kill many more. Is that what you or any one else wants? I don't think so
    In Response

    by: Chidi Desmond from: Abuja
    August 29, 2014 7:16 AM
    Mr Bob some one like you that came from a small country Chad that any thing can befall on your country tomorrow and you will need the help from other countries is the one that comes up here to say that what my President is saying about isolation is not true,and you are encourage isolation,it is not every body in Nigeria that has Ebola,at of 170 million people we are just having 5 deaths so far,is this enough to isolate the remaing 160 some thing million other people from traveling?

    We know that with adequate preventive measures that Ebola doesn't spread like that,you could have advised your Government for proper sanitation of your borders and airports,other well and important countries has not even restricted people from traveling to there country and not to talk much more about your countries,westerns and Americans that are not our brothers are looking for ways to help,and you that it is your brothers that are affected,Africans,and you have the wicked mind to say this,i am highly disappointed in you.

    by: Edith from: Ireland
    August 28, 2014 9:30 PM
    Cleaning, hygiene, safety regulations, disinfectant and decontamination is the key to any virus and decease clearance. Mr president, contact Edicharward, we always have our card placed on the table, meaning we are very transparent.
    In Response

    by: Ola from: Lagos
    August 29, 2014 9:29 AM
    Thank you Edith but it might interest you that You just stated what a primary school pupil (child) from anywhere in Nigeria would educate anyone about viruses and diseases. The news is all about stigmatization and its clear that Nigeria should not be stigmatized. The world should start accepting us coefficient of Africa in sustainability of science and economic survival in the ecosystem. Love Nigerians, embrace Africa, we love you too. Mwah!! Take it!

    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.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.