Abuja - President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday called for strategic collaboration among West African countries to control and contain the spread of the deadly Ebola virus.
Jonathan made the call in Abuja when the Guinea new Ambassador to Nigeria, Gaoussou Toure, presented his Letters of Credence to him in Abuja.
He said that although the affected West African countries had put in place commendable measures to curtail the virus, there was need for concerted intra-regional cooperation and action.
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”A problem that affects one of us affects us all. We may need to come together as a region to strengthen our containment measures.”
“However, I am pleased that serious measures are being taken to control the spread of the disease,” Jonathan said.
Earlier, Toure thanked the president for the financial assistance given to Guinea by Nigeria to tackle the disease.
He assured the president that his country was deploying containment measures and expressed Guinea’s commitment to strengthening its bilateral relations with Nigeria.
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The World Health Organisation (WHO) had in a statement on Tuesday put the death toll from the disease in West Africa since its outbreak in February at 1 013.
According to WHO, the number of people infected by the virus in the sub-region currently stands at 1 848.
The disease has claimed 373 lives in Guinea, where the outbreak was registered in December, and a total of 323 people were reported dead in Liberia and 315 in Sierra Leone.
“Nigeria has recorded 10 cases of infected persons with EVD out of which two have died,” the Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, said on Monday.
According to Chukwu, among the dead are the first patient and a Liberian-American, Mr Patrick Sawyer, and a Lagos nurse who treated him.
The media reports that Jonathan, had on August 8, declared a national emergency on the disease and approved N1.9 billion Special Intervention Plan to control and contain it.
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Jonathan is expected to meet with the 36 state governors and their commissioners for health on Wednesday to discuss how to curtail the possible spread of the virus.
In another development, Jonathan restated his position that the days of electoral violence were over in Nigeria, assuring Nigerians that the 2015 general elections would be free and fair.
He spoke at separate meetings with Michael Zenner, the new German Ambassador to Nigeria and his Danish counterpart, Torben Gettermann, after receiving their Letters of Credence.
The president called on the two ambassadors to use their positions to strengthen existing bilateral relations between their countries and Nigeria.