The experience of Nigerians when Patrick Sawyer came into the country in 2014 with Ebola is not what anyone will want to go through again.

Hand sanitisers became accessories and having a cordial handshake or hug became a luxury.

Some persons got to know there was a thermometer like a gun at the time, as the nation battled to contain the disease that eventually claimed a female medical doctor's life, amongst others.  

Again the disease has resurfaced in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Nigerian government is making efforts to ensure the disease does not sneak into the nation with over 190 million population. 

The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole said the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) was coordinating a national working group that had started the assessment and management of the risk in Nigeria to guard against the disease coming into the nation.

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“We are in close communication with our partners including the World Health Organization, who are in Congo to monitor and respond to the situation.

“The Port Health services units have been placed on red-alert and will heighten screening measures at ports of entry.

“Letters of alert have also been sent to all States to enhance surveillance activities and an advisory note for the general public.

“Over the last few years, we have strengthened our health security infrastructure to effectively prevent, detect and respond to infectious diseases including Ebola,” he added.

Adewole also mentioned that the Federal Government had launched its project for regional disease surveillance systems enhancement (REDISSE) to shore up response to epidemics.

He said that the World Bank set up the REDISSE project to cover all West African countries in the wake gaps shown by the 2014 Ebola outbreak in the region.

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According him, the $90-million project was aimed at strengthening disease preparedness and response in these countries, including Nigeria.

The Chief Executive Officer, NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, stressed that the NCDC would continue to work harder in disease prevention, detection and response.

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