Nigeria Gives Aid To Liberia In Fight Against Ebola Disease

MONROVIA, July 12 (Bernama) -- Nigeria has announced a donation of US$500,000 to help Liberia fight the deadly Ebola disease, according to a statement released on Friday.

According to China's Xinhua news agency Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan made the announcement at the 45th summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in the Ghanaian capital city of Accra.

The donation was in response to the launch of a special fund at the summit to deal with the deadly disease.

It brings the total donations by Nigeria to US$3.5 million, including those to Guinea, Sierra Leone, the West African Health Organisation (WHAO) and the ECOWAS Pool Fund against Ebola.

In Liberia, 87 deaths have been reported among the 131 suspected and confirmed cases, Liberian Vice President Joseph Boakai told the meeting.

In the affected countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, 844 cases linked to Ebola have been reported and 518 deaths occurred so far, Director General of the WAHO Xavier Crespin said at the meeting.

About US$15 million will be needed to fight Ebola given the scale of the crisis in the three countries and to prevent the virus from spreading to other West African nations, Crespin said.

There is still no cure for the Ebola virus, which has an incubation period between two and 21 days and a fatality rate of up to 90 per cent.

The virus was first discovered in 1976 in two simultaneous outbreaks in Sudan and in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), taking its name from the Ebola River where the DRC outbreak was found in a nearby village.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines the disease, formerly known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, as "a severe, often fatal illness" and "one of the world's most virulent diseases."


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