Finweek English Edition - - INSIGHT -

“Six months be­fore Ebola came, we had a se­ries of pre­sen­ta­tions and con­fer­ences, and one of them was on an epi­demic emer­gency,” he said.

The first Ebola case in Nige­ria was con­firmed in July this year, after Liberian Pa­trick Sawyer col­lapsed at La­gos air­port, dis­play­ing symp­toms of the virus. He died in hos­pi­tal five days later but had al­ready in­fected 19 peo­ple, of which seven died.

While most in­fec­tions took place in the hours med­i­cal staff waited for l a bo­ra­tor y r e s ul t s , Nige­ria n au­thor­i­ties man­aged to quickly re­gain con­trol of the sit­u­a­tion. Vol­un­teers helped to track down more than 800 di­rect and in­di­rect con­tacts with the Sawyer case, us­ing tech­nolo­gies and in­fra­struc­ture from the WHO and other part­ners to help find peo­ple and track po­ten­tial chains of trans­mis­sion of the virus.

The West African na­tion un­der­took strong pub­lic aware­ness cam­paigns, teamed with early en­gage­ment of tra­di­tional, re­li­gious and com­mu­nity lead­ers, de­vel­op­ments which also played a key role in the suc­cess­ful con­tain­ment of the out­break.

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