The first Nigerian Ebola patient has been discharged from the quarantine unit of the Emergency Operation Centre, EOC, at the Mainland Hospital, Yaba, Lagos.
News of the discharge of the unnamed female doctor, who was one of the primary contacts of the late American-Liberian Patrick Sawyer, was broken, yesterday evening, by Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu.
Chukwu, accompanied by Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, and others on the Joint Federal/State EVD response team, to give an update on the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Nigeria, said the discharged patient had been given a clean bill of health to go home
His words : “The EOC has advised me to announce that the first Nigerian to be confirmed to have Ebola Virus Disease has this evening been discharged from the isolation unit at the Mainland Hospital, Lagos.
“I have consulted with the experts, and they said clearly that there was a discharge protocol that was employed for this particular patient. It has been followed strictly and was concluded today and what you are getting now is the final outcome.
“Ordinarily, if she had been afflicted with another illness, she would have been discharged long before now”.
Earlier, the minister pointed out that five of other Ebola patients had almost fully recovered.
“The total number of confirmed cases of EVD in the country was now 12, with four deaths and 189 under surveillance in Lagos and six in Enugu,” he stated.
Responding to questions concerning the welfare of the Ebola victims under the care of the response team at the EOC , Chukwu allayed the fear regarding the standard and quality of care.
“As you are aware, the patients under treatment have now been moved to the new 40-bed capacity isolation ward provided by Lagos State government. Additional equipment has also been made available to the new isolation ward by the Federal Government”.
On the controversy surrounding the experimental Ebola drug being proposed for adoption by the Federal Government, the minister said the drug failed to meet the requirements for approval.
“You will recall that, last Thursday, I announced that we were ready to deploy an experimental drug, Nano Silver; it was not cleared by the National Health Research Ethics Committee.
“Although the drug has since been made available to the EOC in Lagos, it has not been administered on any patient because we were awaiting clearance by the National Health Research Ethics Committee.
“I regret to inform you that the drug did not meet the requirements of the National Health Research Ethics Code. Accordingly, approval for its use was withheld by the National Health Research Ethics Committee.”
The minister, however, informed that the other candidate drugs were under evaluation by the Treatment Research Group for EVD.
“As soon as any of the experimental drugs is cleared by the National Health Research Ethics Committee and made available, we shall incident it in the treatment regeneration subject to the informed consent of the patient,” he stated.
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