250 Nigerian medics head to Ebola-hit nations

The African Union (AU) on Wednesday announced the deployment of 250 Nigerian medics to Ebola-ravaged Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

AFP| Updated: Dec 04, 2014, 02:13 AM IST

Lagos: The African Union (AU) on Wednesday announced the deployment of 250 Nigerian medics to Ebola-ravaged Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

Volunteers from other African countries are expected to join the Nigerians in the epicentre of the outbreak.

The chairman of the AU Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, urged airlines to resume flights to the three worst-hit west African nations, who she said were currently "very isolated."

She also urged Africa`s private sector to fund the fight against the epidemic, citing the example of giant South African-based telephone network MTN which donated $10 million and Nigerian tycoon Aliko Dangote who has pledged three million dollars.

The Ebola outbreak was officially declared over in Nigeria on October 20. Twenty cases were recorded and only eight people died due to the rapid and effective response of authorities.

"We are going to share our experience on how we managed our containment of the epidemic," the director of the Nigerian National Centre for Disease Control, Professor Abdulsalami Nasidi, told AFP.

In October, Dlamini-Zuma said that AU members had committed to send more than a thousand health officers, particularly from the Democratic Republic of Congo, to fight Ebola.

The Ebola outbreak ravaging west Africa has claimed 6,070 lives, according to the latest WHO update, with the vast majority of deaths in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.