Abuja - Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, the Minister of Health, on Thursday said Nigeria would train 15 health workers from three West African countries affected by the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).
Chukwu disclosed this while reacting to a recent request by the UN and WHO to offer the training as part of efforts to combat the disease.
"Nigeria will offer specialised training to the health personnel from the three severely affected West African nations of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia,’’ he said.
According to him, the trainees comprised nine field epidemiologists and six laboratory scientists selected from the affected countries.
The minister said the training, scheduled to take place in Nigeria, would last for three weeks.
Chukwu, however, did not disclose when the training would commence.
He said that the move was part of a broader measure taken by the Federal Government to assist those countries hit by the virus to contain its spread beyond their borders.
He said that on the long-run, countries around the sub-region would be encouraged to train more of its health workers using Nigerian facilities to build a stronger network against common diseases.
The minister said that the Federal Government was also planning a more comprehensive Masters programme for health personnel from countries in the sub-region that could last for up to two years.
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He said that the effort was geared toward building the sub-region's capacity to contain deadly diseases such as EVD, HIV and Lassa fever.
Besides, he said the federal government had procured drugs worth N50 million to be donated to Sierra Leone as part of Nigeria's contribution to curb Ebola virus in the country.
Chukwu said that Nigeria had also outlined a comprehensive programme to help its neighbours to successfully fight the disease.
The minister expressed optimism that West Africa could stem the tide of EVD within the shortest possible time, especially if countries were committed to the sub-regional’s plan of action against the disease.
Kaloko had called for coordination among all stakeholders in the region against EVD.
He said working with a discordant tune would be counter-productive, adding that the enormity of the crisis required a comprehensive approach.
Kaloko said that the virus had crippled the health system and economies of the countries hit, and called on Nigeria to play a leadership role in ending the scourge in the sub-region.
He also called on the governments in the sub-region to build stronger confidence in the health workers deployed to areas worst hit by the virus.
It would also be recalled that the World Health Organisation (WHO) had appealed to Nigeria to send health workers to other West African countries still battling with the disease.