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Ebola: German Envoy Tasks Nigeria On Training Of Health Workers

By Eric Ojo – Mr. Michael Zenner, the German Ambassador to Nigeria, has harped on the need to provide basic and further training to health workers in Nigeria in order to improve their competence in the control of Ebola and other highly contagious diseases.

Ambassador Zenner said that strengthening the capacities of medical workers and volunteers will go a long way in helping them carry out their work effectively in the future and equally enable them to make a difference in the fight against communicable diseases.

The envoy added that to curb Ebola in the long term and prevent a renewed outbreak, it is also necessary to improve the local healthcare systems and infrastructure in Nigeria, adding that this is not only needed to control Ebola but for all other highly contagious diseases.

Addressing journalists at the venue of the on-going Training for Trainers Programme for Nigerian medical personnel on the Management of Highly Contagious Diseases in Abuja on Thursday, he noted that with the outbreaks of highly contagious diseases such as Cholera, Measles or Lassa in Nigeria, the importance of prompt and proper reaction cannot be overstated.

“The very successful containment of Ebola in Nigeria has shown us that a fast and rigorous intervention is absolutely necessary to keep control over the situation. I will like to congratulate Nigeria once again for this great achievement in tackling this crisis”, he said.

The German Ambassador, however expressed satisfaction that experienced organizations such as the German Red Cross and the Nigerian Red Cross are partnering to conduct the training for Nigerian medical workers with a view to strengthening the Nigerian health system and support the regions affected by Ebola.

According to him, within this partnership, up to 200 medical assistants in Nigeria were to be trained by the German Red Cross and their partners in dealing with the Ebola epidemic.

Mr. Zenner further explained that when it became clear in January 2014 that no additional health personnel were needed in the Ebola Treatment Centres abroad, the German Red Cross reacted to the development and shifted its focus of the training initiative to prepare potential first responders to health emergencies for their deployment within Nigeria and to also fight other diseases as well.

He also noted that the fight against the Ebola epidemic in West Africa has posed a dramatic challenge for the international community, adding that many countries offered to treat infected patients in specialized hospitals and that three patients were treated in Germany.

“The German Government has provided a total of 195 million euros to help in the fight against the epidemic and this training is part of that pledge”, he further disclosed.

Also speaking at the occasion, Prof. Abdusalami Nacidi, the National Coordinator/Chief Executive Officer (CEO)Nigeria Center for Disease Control(NCDC), thanked the German Government and other partners for supporting Nigeria in the fight against Ebola and other communicable diseases.

Prof. Nacidi assured that the training will be utilized to the maximum as those trained will go over to the other zones of the country to impact the knowledge, adding that the Nigerian health sector look forward to partnering with other German research centres and scientists to share knowledge and experience.


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