Containment of ebola – steps to prevent spread of emerging infectious diseases, the Nigeria example
Emerging infectious diseases are diseases whose incidence in humans have increased in the past decades or threaten to increase in the near future. The epidemiological and Laboratory techniques needed to detect, investigate and contain a deliberate outbreak are the same as those used for natural outbreaks. The threat to Nigeria posed by the arrival in Lagos of a patient acutely ill with Ebola was potentially enormous. Six response teams were deployed within the Emergency Operations Centre; 1) Epidemiology/ Surveillance, 2) Case Management/ Infection Control, 3) Social mobilization, 4) Laboratory Services, 5) Point of Entry and 6) Management / Coordination. The strategy group reviewed and approved all of the teams work and needed resources. Eleven patients with laboratory confirmed Ebola were admitted and discharged, an additional patient was diagnosed at convalescent stage while eight patients died. Several issues were observed by the response team during Nigeria Ebola outbreak that could in retrospect have been mitigated through additional preparedness planning for public health emergencies:- 1) Financial resources were slow to arrive, 2) Political leadership did not appreciate the enormous consequences that even a small Ebola outbreak could have on civil institutions, 3) Lack of Nigerian health workers willing to care for Ebola because of a lack of information and training on how to care for Ebola patients, 4) Inappropriate coordination of private sector engagement and 5) Partners and parts of government were unfamiliar with EOC/IMS system and its use as a means of streamlining coordination and response elements into one unified approach.