The Supervising Minister of Health, Dr. Khaliru Alhassan, has called on the European Union (EU) to support the concept of medical diplomacy with concrete long term solutions in the health sector which can help strengthen health infrastructure and systems of developing nations, especially those nations in which the economy and healthcare systems had been affected adversely by the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).
The Minister made this call in Brussels, Belgium, in his address at the European Union (EU) High-level International Conference on Ebola on 3 March, 2015. Dr. Alhassan observed that the concept of medical diplomacy has emerged strongly in recent times due to frequent outbreaks of diseases with great pandemic potential. He observed that as long as the Ebola Virus Disease was prevalent in any country, the entire world stands at risk.
While sharing Nigeria’s experience and ability to speedily contain the Ebola Virus Disease, he attributed Nigeria’s success to strong government leadership; effective control measures put in place to interrupt transmission of the virus; collaboration among the various tiers of government; robust multi-sectoral cooperation; early community engagement and aggressive public enlightenment.
The Minister also stressed that close collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), the US Centres for Disease Control, (CDC), EU CDC, China CDC, Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) and other development partners, as well as civil society groups, was paramount in containing the disease.
He disclosed that Nigeria was doing everything possible to prevent a resurgence of the virus, noting that a $41 million dollar-plan is being evolved for the nation’s post-containment preparedness, prevention and control of the Ebola Virus Disease.
The EU High-Level International Conference on Ebola was organized to take stock of the fight against the outbreak, coordinate further action for the total eradication of the disease and discuss the recovery process in countries which have been most affected by the disease .
A. O. Adesugba (Mrs.)
Director Press &Public Relations