We are now better equipped to combat Ebola- DG, NCDC
By Olamide Fadoju
The Director General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu has said that the NCDC is now better prepared to fight the Ebola virus than it was five years ago.
Dr. Chikwe disclosed this while speaking with Wemimo Adewuni and Sheriff Quadri on Nigeria Info FM 99.3 programme, Morning Crossfire.
He stated that the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control has made a major difference since the last Ebola outbreak.
The Director General said , “Five years ago, we were a rudimentary agency, with a few people, without a legal mandate and without the expertise to deal with this disease but we have a competent agency now.”
Dr. Chikwe also debunked claims that Ebola test samples had to be taken abroad for diagnosis due to lack of necessary equipment in Nigeria.
“We have the devices in Nigeria to make that diagnosis within 24 hours from a sample collected from anywhere,” he said.
He also mentioned that the NDDC now have a team of first responders who can be “activated within 8 hours of any incident in Nigeria.”
While responding to questions about how exposed Nigeria is to the Ebola epidemic currently ravaging the Democratic Republic of Congo, he assured Nigerians that there was no cause for worry.
According to him, “Overall, the risk in Nigeria compared to 2014 remains low because of all the environmental factors and lack of direct flights between both countries.”