The first female doctor to be infected with the Ebola Virus Disease, has been discharged from the quarantine unit of the Emergency Operation Centre of the Mainland Hospital, Yaba, Lagos State.
The Minister of Health, Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu, who disclosed this at a press briefing in Lagos on Saturday, said the female doctor was one of the doctors that had primary contact with the late American-Liberian Patrick Sawyer, who died of the Ebola Virus Disease in Lagos.
Chukwu, who was accompanied by the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, said the discharged patient had been given a clean bill of health by experts managing confirmed cases.
According to them, she is the first patient to have survived the deadly disease in Nigeria.
Chukwu said, “The EOC has advised me to announce that the first Nigerian to have been confirmed to have the 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 say clearly that there is 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.”
The minister stated that the health of the other five patients in isolation was improving.
“The total number of confirmed cases of EVD in the country is now 12, with four deaths and 189 under surveillance in Lagos and six in Enugu,” he said.
Responding to queries concerning the welfare of the Ebola victims under the care of the response team at the EOC , he allayed such fears regarding the standard and quality of care.
He said, “As you are aware, the patients under treatment have now been moved to the new 40-bed capacity isolation ward provided by the Lagos State Government. Additional equipment has also been made available to the new isolation ward by the Federal Government.”
On the controversy surrounding the use of some experimental Ebola drugs being proposed for adoption by the Federal Government, he said the drug failed to meet the requirements for approval.
He said, “You will recall that last Thursday. I announced that we were ready to deploy an experimental drug, Nano Silver.
“Although the drug has since last Thursday been made available to the EOC in Lagos. It has not been administered to 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 committee.”
He, however, said other drugs were being evaluated by the Treatment Research Group for EVD.
He also debunked rumours of EDV in Imo, Abia and Cross River states but noted that the case of the disease in Kwara was still under investigation.
”The mother of the child in Kwara tested negative and we are still investigating the child. Also, the case of the corpse in Anambra was already embalmed and we are waiting for the test result.
”All the mortuary attendants who had contact with the corpse tested negative. So, there is no need to panic,” he said.
On the suspension of residency training in federal health institutions, he said there had been problems with the training which also informed the ongoing doctors’ strike.
He said, “The suspension is with all Federal Government hospitals, state teaching hospitals are not affected.
”The government suspended the training to allow for critical investigation and come up with better ways to improve the training.”
Chukwu noted that the paper work for the life insurance cover for volunteers was ongoing and that the Lagos State Government had started the implementation of the insurance cover for its health workers.