President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday in Abuja urged for a sustained war against Ebola Virus Disease, just as he welcomed the declaration of Nigeria as Ebola-free by the World Health Organisation.
Reacting through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, the President dedicated the certification to patriotic health workers, volunteers and ordinary Nigerians who supported government to defeat the virus.
The WHO’s certification came through its representative, Rui Gama Vaz, on Monday in Abuja after seven weeks with no new cases.
Jonathan noted that the country’s globally-acclaimed success against Ebola was a testimony to what Nigerians could achieve if they set aside their differences and work together.
The statement said: “Jonathan welcomes today’s declaration by the World Health Organisation that Nigeria is now officially Ebola-free after 42 days without any incidence of the Ebola Virus Disease.
“Jonathan dedicates the certification to the many patriotic health workers, volunteers and ordinary Nigerians who worked tirelessly, some of them paying the ultimate price, to stop the deadly virus in its track after it entered the country in July.
“The President seizes this opportunity to also reiterate his appreciation of the contributions of state governments, WHO and other international health organisations, relatives of infected persons and other Nigerians who either courageously underwent the rigours of being quarantined or complied with all directives issued by health authorities to defeat the virus.
“He believes that Nigeria’s globally-acclaimed success against Ebola is a testimony to what Nigerians can achieve if they set aside their differences and work together.
“And calls on Nigerians to strive to replicate the unity of purpose and all-hands-on-deck approach adopted against Ebola in other areas of national life.”
The President urged all Nigerians to remain fully alert and vigilant to guard against a re-entry of the virus.
He shared the view of the WHO that the war will only truly end when West Africa, Africa and the world are declared free of Ebola.
Abati said further in the statement: “As the nation applauds the success of its collective effort to stop the transmission of the Ebola Virus within Nigeria, however, the president warns that the entire country must remain fully alert and vigilant against the re-entry of the virus.
“Jonathan fully shares the view expressed by WHO in its congratulatory message to Nigeria that while we have won a battle against Ebola, the war will only truly end when West Africa, Africa and the world are declared free of Ebola.
“The president consequently directs that all the anti-Ebola measures taken after the entry of the virus into the country should remain in place.
“And health officials should continue to actively screen persons entering the country through its air, land and sea borders for any sign of the virus.
“He also urges all Nigerians to continue to follow the anti-Ebola advisories on sanitation and personal hygiene issued by Federal and State Health authorities.”