Two hundred and fifty volunteer health workers from Nigeria will on Thursday travel to Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone to join legion of other volunteers fighting the Ebola virus disease in West African countries.
The 250 volunteers are the first batch of the 504 volunteers from the country.
Speaking at the launch of the Africa Against Ebola Campaign and Deployment of the 250 African Union Support Against Ebola in West Africa (ASEOWA), Nigerian medical corps (the volunteers), President Goodluck Jonathan, represented by the acting Minister of Health, Dr Khalifa, charged them on patriotism and professionalism.
“Nigeria is already sharing its experiences as evidenced today by these our gallant volunteers who are willing to put their lives on the lines for the sake of their African brothers. This is the professionalism we all wanted to see,” he said.
He reiterated Nigeria’s readiness to assist Africa and indeed the world wherever there was the need to do so and thus save humanity.
“We have defeated Ebola in Nigeria, but the war is still very much on. As long as there is a single case anywhere in this world, the world is at risk. And, we must do whatever is in within our power to ensure that we become our brothers’ keepers.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria is 100 per cent behind you. We have reviewed all the weights and the African Union can be guaranteed of the total commitment of the Federal Government of Nigeria to ensure the success of this programme, not only in Nigeria, but across the globe,” he added.
Speaking on the occasion, chairperson of the African Union, Dr Dlamini Zuma, revealed that consortium of business institutions in Nigeria, including the Africa Development Bank, had donated about $34 million to help fight the Ebola virus disease.
Director, Department of Social Affair, AU, Mr Olawale Maiyegun, while speaking with newsmen, noted that between two and five billion dollars would be needed to end the scourge that had ravaged Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone within few months in 2014.