Tag Archive | Nigeria

Meningitis Outbreak Kills 745 in Nigeria

1.4 MILLION+ chickens have been killed this year due to avian flu across Nigeria

Bird Flu

More than 1.4 million birds were destroyed across Nigeria to stamp out bird influenza that hit poultry farms early this year, according to Mohammed Ahmed, the Executive Director, National Veterinary Research Institute, Vom.
Mr. Ahmed told the News Agency of Nigeria in Vom on Sunday that 18 states were affected by the flu whose last case was reported on May 28.
He said 800 suspicions were diagnosed in the institute’s laboratory out of which 500 tested positive to the disease.
The NVRI boss said that compensations for the destroyed birds were already being paid by the Federal Government.
“Payment of compensation for the destroyed birds is already in progress; it started and stopped at a point, but it has resumed,” he said.
He observed that the compensation was being handled by the Federal Government and appealed to the states to help by initiating steps to assist farmers.
“Since it is the economies of the affected states that are being largely affected, the states should augment the compensation as they did during the first outbreak years ago.
“The states should specifically help in the design of poultry farms to encourage bio-security of the farms,’’ he explained.
Mr. Ahmed particularly warned against cluster farms, and blamed that trend for the large number of birds that had to be destroyed.
The NVRI boss singled out Plateau and Kano as states with the largest concentration of cluster farms, and explained that the flu usually spread faster and engulf more birds in cluster farms.
He expressed satisfaction that the flu was contained in few months compared to the first outbreak that lasted from 2006-2008, but observed that more birds were destroyed this time.
“More birds had to go because the production of poultry has changed with the cluster farms. In Rantya, a village in Jos South Local Government, for instance, the cluster farms are so close and heavily concentrated in one vicinity,” he said.
Mr. Ahmed said that the disease had subsided but “certainly not over yet’’.
“We are not taking anything for granted and have therefore gone into active surveillance.
“We have already trained people to take samples; their task is to buy and test chickens randomly from farms and live birds markets all over the nation.
“We are virtually out of the passive, so we must go to look for possible cases. There are states and federal offices and officers to handle surveillance even in the remotest of the rural settlements.
“Such surveillance is usually the most expensive part of disease control, but Nigeria is being supported by some interventions from the World Bank, FAO, USAID and other development partners.’’
Mr. Ahmed said that the Federal Government was also carrying out forensic investigation to ascertain how the disease came in.
“We are forced to do that because what was diagnosed in NVRI laboratories is not related with previous cases, it is a new introduction all together,’’ explained.
He said that there were many speculations with humans suspected to be possible carriers, while poultry importations could also be a source of disease dissemination.
The official, however, expressed happiness that no human case had been found, saying that people tested, including farm workers, proved negative.
The NVRI boss disclosed that another poultry disease, known as Newcastle disease, was being zeroed in for eradication by the international community through vaccinations like Thermostable and MDV12 that is usually targeted at poultry farmers in the hinterlands.
Courtesy of premiumtimesng

Oil Pipeline Explosion Kills 12 in Nigeria

Explosion Alert

An accidental explosion on an oil pipeline in Nigeria operated by Italian energy giant Eni left 12 people dead and three injured, the company said in a statement Friday.
The explosion happened on Thursday during repair work on the pipeline, which had been damaged by acts of sabotage, Eni said, adding that the circumstances of the accident were still not clear.
A spokesman for the military joint task force in the southern Niger delta region, Lieutenant Colonel Ado Isa, confirmed the explosion but had no further details.
“An investigation is underway,” he told AFP.
A source at the environment ministry in Bayelsa state said the blast occurred when a team was at a facility run by Eni’s Nigerian subsidiary Agip investigating a recent oil spill.
No team member was killed but one was injured, the source said on condition of anonymity.
Eni, through Agip, is one of a number of international oil majors operating in Nigeria, which is Africa’s biggest crude producer.
Oil spills are a major hazard in the oil-rich south and in March, Amnesty International claimed that Agip and Anglo-Dutch Shell had reported 553 spills in 2014.
Courtesy of thelocal.it

22,573 birds killed due to Avian Flu in 7 states across Nigeria

Bird Flu

A total of seven states have now been affected by the latest outbreak of bird flu in the country, Akinwunmi Adesina, minister of agriculture and rural development, disclosed on Wednesday. According to Akinwunmi, who listed the states as Rivers, Delta, Edo, Plateau, Ogun, Lagos and Kano, 22,573 birds have been killed since January 8 when the first case of the virus was confirmed. He said that development partners such as the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), Inter African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) had been duly informed about the outbreak. But speaking in Abuja on Wednesday, Adesina assured Nigerians that the government was in full control, saying the situation would not be allowed to degenerate into an epidemic. “I wish to assure all Nigerians that Nigeria will successfully control the bird flu outbreak,” he said. “We have successfully controlled it in the past and have activated all necessary protocols and measures to ensure successful control this time.” Nigeria first recorded an outbreak of the virus in 2006 and it lingered till 2008 when it was contained. Adesina said as part of measures to contain the spread of the virus, he had directed a nationwide comprehensive surveillance, quarantine, depopulation and decontamination of all affected poultry farms and areas. He said insurance package was being put in place to ensure that affected farmers did not suffer complete loss. He tasked poultry farmers on prompt reporting of any disease outbreak in their farms, urging them to patronise only qualified and registered veterinary officers. The minister revealed that if well cooked, poultry product was safe for consumption. He said the main channel of infection was direct contact with infected surfaces or objects contaminated with faeces of infected birds and advised the people to imbibe high level of hygiene.

Courtesy of The Cable

Landslide kills 2 in Jigawa, Nigeria

Landslide Danger Alert

A 17-year-old boy, Sani Danladi, and his brother, Sabo Bala, 15-year-old have died in a landslide in Zaidawa Village in Garki Local Government Area, Jigawa State.
The state Commandant of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Muhammad Gidado, confirmed the incident, while fielding questions from newsmen in Dutse the state capital.
He explained that the two boys met their death while digging sand in the area.
According to him, the civil defence rescue team in the command with the support of some villagers dug out the bodies and handed them over to medical personnel, who confirmed their death, before his men took the corpses to their families for burial.
He advised people in the state to avoid putting themselves or their families in a similar risk.
Courtesy of The Sun (Nigeria)


Ebola Virus

A doctor in Nigeria’s oil hub of Port Harcourt has died from Ebola after treating a contact of a Liberian-American man who was the first recorded case of the virus in Africa’s most populous country, the Health Ministry has said. The death in Port Harcourt brings the number of Ebola fatalities in Nigeria to 6, all of whom were direct or indirect contacts of Sawyer. Port Harcourt lies at the heart of Nigeria’s two million barrels per day oil industry. 

Boat sinks killing 12 off the coast of Southeast Nigeria


Two more persons were confirmed dead on Saturday after an overloaded boat capsized off the coast of southeast Nigeria, taking the death toll to 12.

Twenty-two people were rescued and taken to hospital after the boat went down on Friday as it travelled between Bonny Island and Port Harcourt, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said.

“From our investigation, the capacity of the boat was 25 but it was carrying 34 people,” said NEMA local coordinator Onimode Bandele, revising downward by one the number of people thought to have been on board.

“We also learnt that on August 28, the same boat hit an object which affected its hull and we are not sure if it was repaired before being used again,” he told AFP.

The boat is thought to have hit an object and overturned early on Friday.

Boat accidents in Nigeria occur frequently and are often caused by overloading, poor vessel maintenance, speeding and poor lighting.

Deadly Ebola Virus; Man rushed to hospital and quarantined due to Ebola virus symptoms in Mumbai, India

Ebola Virus

A 32-year-old man suspected to have contracted the deadly Ebola virus was quarantined on his return from Nigeria on Sunday evening. The passenger was directly taken to the designated Bal Thackeray Trauma Care Centre in Jogeshwari, where he has been quarantined. 
Airport officials said that he had “bloodshot eyes, a running nose and fever” and was therefore sent to the civic-run hospital. The Emirates passenger, who flew in via Dubai, came from Nigeria, one of four African nations to be affected by the virus. He is the first to be quarantined in the city on the suspicion of having contracted the disease. 
Earlier, a Vasai resident was quarantined but he was sent home within a day. 
The passenger was screened at Terminal 2 of the international airport before being sent to the Jogeshwari hospital, where 10 beds have been set aside for passengers suspected to have contracted the virus. The airport also has two ambulances parked to ferry suspects to the hospital that was chosen due to its proximity to the airport. All other major hospitals, including KEM, Sion and JJ, have been told to be prepared to tackle cases of Ebola. 
BMC epidemiologist Dr Mangala Gomare confirmed that the patient has been quarantined. “We have admitted the patient more on a precautionary basis. He is otherwise asymptomatic or rather does not have any of the classical symptoms of Ebola. His fever is not that high. But we will closely monitor his condition,” she said. 
Gomare added that the passenger’s blood samples will be sent to the National Institute of Virology (Pune). “There is no need to panic as of now,” she said.

Deadly Ebola Virus; British national living in Sierra Leone tests positive for Ebola Virus

Ebola Virus

A British national living in Sierra Leone has tested positive for the Ebola virus – the first Briton confirmed to have contracted the disease.
The Department of Health said medical experts were assessing the situation “to ensure that appropriate care is delivered”. Consular assistance is being provided.
Professor John Watson, deputy chief medical officer, said: “The overall risk to the public in the UK continues to be very low. Medical experts are currently assessing the situation in Sierra Leone to ensure that appropriate care is provided.
“We have robust, well-developed and well-tested NHS systems for managing unusual infectious diseases when they arise, supported by a wide range of experts.”
Meanwhile, west African nations have imposed stringent new measures to stop the spread of Ebola as two new cases emerged in Nigeria that appear to indicate a widening of the circle of those affected.
The Ivory Coast has closed its borders with its Ebola-hit neighbours and Sierra Leone has said it will jail people who hide patients with the virus. The World Health Organisation (WHO) believes the practice has contributed to a major underestimation of the current outbreak.
It was announced on Saturday that the borders between Ivory Coast and both Guinea and Liberia had been closed the previous day as the death toll of the epidemic reached 1,427 across west Africa.
Agence France-Presse reported that the measure was put in place “to protect all people, including foreigners, living on Ivorian territory,” Ivorian prime minister Daniel Kaban Duncan said.
According to the WHO, Liberia has been the hardest hit by the outbreak, with 624 deaths since March.
Guinea has seen 406 people die, while in Sierra Leone 392 have succumbed to the haemorrhagic fever. Nigeria, meanwhile, has seen five people die.
The two new cases in Nigeria are causing particular concern because they are outside the immediate group of caregivers who treated a dying airline passenger.
The new patients were infected by their spouses, both medical workers who had direct contact with Liberian-American Patrick Sawyer, who flew into Nigeria from Liberia and Togo and infected 11 others before he died in July.
There are fears that the number of people affected is even higher than reported because many people – mindful of the stigma attached – are hiding Ebola patients.
“This phenomenon strongly suggests the existence of an invisible caseload of patients who are not being detected by the surveillance system,” the UN health agency said. This has “never before been seen in an Ebola outbreak”, it added.
According to the Associated Press, the Liberian government has delivered donated rice to a slum where 50,000 people have been sealed off from the rest of the capital Monrovia in an attempt to contain the outbreak.
In Sierra Leone, a new amendment to the country’s health act was passed, imposing jail time of up to two years for those caught hiding Ebola patients. The new law – an update to the country’s 1960 Public Health Act – was passed on Friday.
Lawmaker Ansumana Jaiah Kaikai said the measure was necessary to compel reluctant residents to cooperate with government officials. “This amendment seeks to address these emerging bottlenecks,” he added.

Deadly Ebola Virus; Nigerian Health Minister confirms two new cases of the Ebola Virus

Ebola Virus

Nigeria has two new cases of Ebola outside the group of caregivers who treated an airline passenger who arrived with the virus and died, the Health Minister has confirmed.   
Onyebuchi Chukwu said the two new cases are spouses of Ebola patients who had direct contact with Liberian-American Patrick Sawyer. He flew into the country last month with the virus and infected 11 others before he died.
Nigerian officials initially claimed the risk of exposure to others was minimal because Mr Sawyer was placed into isolation immediately after arriving at the airport. 
However, Lagos state health commissioner Jide Idris acknowledged earlier this month that Mr Sawyer was not immediately quarantined the first day, the Associated Press reports. 
These two new cases bring the total number of confirmed infections in Nigeria, including the traveller, to 14.