Wednesday, 22 October 2014


"Free at last!" are the words that came to mind when I heard the news of Nigeria being declared Ebola-free by the world health organisation (W.H.O). I recalled all the terrifying emotions that most Nigerians, including me went through when we confirmed the first case. The fear was palpable. For the first time since my adulthood, I saw Nigerians act as one,  (well, almost if you count those who would have sabotaged our efforts by remaining in hiding or running away).

The fear of ebola made many Nigerians fall victim to some rumors like the kolanut cure, and the salt water bath. We decided at that point that it was time to start fighting it and set out to educate people on proper prevention as there was and still has no known cure. It looked like all hope would be lost when we heard of a new case in Port-harcourt. The fear came again when the necessary protective gears were not provided for health care workers and again when it was time for children to go back to school

When the case showed up in the United States, to tell you the truth, my heart dropped! Why? Because what if a stable individual who has already contacted the virus, but is stable walks into our country today? That is exactly what happened in the case of America. The patient was fine. He only developed the fever after he was in the country. No fever scanner could have detected him as ebola positive in the airport. We (Nigerians) were lucky because our index patient collapsed right at the airport.

So, dear Nigerians, YES!!! we should be proud of ourselves this time. We conquered ebola. We should pop champagne and celebrate, but, in the midst of all the celebrations, we should remember that the battle is not over until it is truly over. Liberia, Sierra leone and Guinea are our neighbours. The threat is not over. We should "keep calm and watch out!" Our level of vigilance shouldn't dwindle at this time.

Doctors, Please continue wearing your protective gears. Everyone, please continue regular hand-washing, it saves you from a host of other diseases on the long run. continue using your hand sanitizers. Continue to spread the news and educate as much people as you can. In short, continue monitoring until we rid the world of ebola. The battle continues.....



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