Federal Ministry of Health yesterday received the last batch of Nigeria’s Ebola rescue teams from Sierra Leone and Liberia.
Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr. Linus Awute, while receiving the delegation in Abuja, welcomed the members of the teams and said the country was happy that all who went for the mission came back safe and sound.
Awute was represented by Dr Sani Gwarzo, Director, Port Health Services, on behalf of the ministry and Nigeria Centre for Disease control.
He, however, said members of the teams would be under health observation for few days.
He said out of 204 persons who went on the mission to Sierra-Leone and Liberia, 188 returned in May, seven came back on Monday, and five returned yesterday.
Awute said two people each from the teams would remain in Sierra Leone and Liberia to round off the assignment.
“The 12 that have arrived are all healthy but we must, under scientific protocol, give them a thorough screening, both for other health conditions and Ebola.
“The contributions of Nigeria cannot be quantified in these countries; it has been very substantial in many forms.
“At the time Nigerians contributed to the work force, many countries were scared that they will get exposed but Nigeria took the lead which opened the minds of others to contribute,’’ he said.
Mr. Womi Eteng, the Operation Coordinator in Sierra Leone, said when the team went there, the country was recording an average of 300 cases of Ebola daily.
He said at their departure, the cases had reduced to less than 10, adding that it was important for health workers to support other countries to save lives.
The “ Nigerian government gave their support and made sure we had all that was needed, so, fear was the last thing on my mind,’’ Eteng said.
Ahmed Gawar, one of the public health officers in Liberia, said that it was not easy in the beginning but with the zeal to save lives, they worked with everything and anything to achieve success.
“Nigeria is a great nation and it shows its strength whenever the need arises,” Gawar said.
He said the federal government gave them all the support they needed to succeed in the mission.
“They supported us with all their strength by responding to calls and requests without any delay,’’ he said. NAN

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