Ebola: NMA urges Fed Govt to police borders, ports

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In Nigeria
Sep 1st, 2014
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•Unilorin to establish virology complex

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has urged the Federal Government to police the country’s borders and ports to avert further spread of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).

In a communique at the end of the National Executive Council meeting in Awka, Anambra, yesterday, its national president, Dr Kayode Obembe, commended the federal and Lagos state governments for their response to the health challenge.

He, however, observed that the essential structures and framework for containing the outbreak on a national scale were not yet in place.

The NMA pledged its commitment toward the health of Nigerians, saying that it would join forces with governments and their agencies to prevent the spread of EVD to other parts of the country.

It noted that as part of the response to the outbreak, the NMA had put in place a national EVD Response Committee, headed by Prof Michael Asuzu, and similar committees at the state levels.

The body said the controversy that trailed the establishment of the office of the Surgeon-General of the Federation was regrettable.

It said if the office was created, it would have a nationwide structure in place, to promote the enforcement of public health issues and lead the force against emergencies, including the EVD.

“The importation of EVD to Nigeria clearly demonstrates that we are very prone and more at risk really in the Ebola virus as a¸ open to several diplomatic and international travels.

“We therefore call on the FG to police the nation’s borders and ports to avert a further spread of the disease. NEC, therefore, calls on the FG to take steps to further ensure the creation of functional EVD control committees at all levels of government.

“We are deeply concerned that many states are yet to establish reliable isolation facilities and the relative unavailability of Personal Protective Equipment,” it stated.

The University of Ilorin is set to establish a Virology complex to carry out researches on Ebola virus disease (EVD) and how to curtail its spread.

The Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Abdul-Ganiyu Ambali, spoke at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja yesterday.

He said the university recognised its responsibility in conducting researches as well as community development services which was why its senate set up a committee on Ebola recently.

In terms of the community service, Prof. Ambali said the university published information on Ebola regularly on its website and on its weekly bulletin to educate readers.

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