Atiku urged health and immigration authorities to commence surveillance in relevant areas.
On Tuesday, May 8, 2018, the DRC government declared an outbreak of Ebola hemorrhagic fever, a rare and deadly disease, noting laboratory results confirmed two cases of the disease with 21 suspected cases over the past five weeks resulting in 17 deaths.
During an Ebola outbreak in Nigeria in 2014, eight people were killed after a Liberian-American, Patrick Sawyer, flew into the country from Liberia to Lagos where the infection spread. The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the country Ebola-free after three months of the outbreak.
Taking to his Twitter account (@atiku) on Thursday, May 10, Atiku urged health and immigration authorities to commence surveillance in relevant areas.
He said, "The news of an Ebola outbreak in DR Congo is cause for concern and immediate action. Based on our experience from the most recent outbreak, it is imperative our health and immigration authorities begin immediate surveillance and preventive action at the ports and relevant areas.
"Awareness and education are the most potent tools for combating the spread of Ebola. Please share this material with all family and friends."
After the announcement by the DRC government on Tuesday, Nigeria's Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday, May 9, directed the Ministry of Health to step up surveillance activities against Ebola in the country.
According to the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, part of the new measures to be taken would include screening of passengers coming into the country.
"We will be screening incoming passengers, particularly passengers from DRC and neigbouring countries," he said.
He also disclosed that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) will also consider sending teams to DRC as part of building capacity for managing the outbreak.
He reassured Nigerians that the federal government was concerned about the outbreak and would continue to do everything possible to keep the country safe from the outbreak.