The Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, announced today the death of Jatto Abdulqudir, a member of its staff, from the Ebola virus. Abdulqudir is the third person in Nigeria to die of the disease, following the initial Liberian case, Patrick Sawyer, and a nurse who attended to him after he collapsed in Lagos.
In the below statement, released by ECOWAS today, the commission expressed gratitude to Nigerian government authorities and paid tribute to Mr. Abdulqudir, a protocol assistant, who was one of the principal staff members who worked with Patrick Sawyer. Abdulqudir was one of the 40 people under quaratantine in Lagos following Sawyer's death. The Nigerian government claims there are ten cases of Ebola in Lagos, and 70 people, acccording to the Ministry of Health, are said to be under quarantine.
"The ECOWAS Commission announces with deep regret the passing of a staff member of its Lagos Liaison Office, Mr. Jatto Asihu Abdulqudir, aged 36.
Mr. Abdulqudir, a Protocol Assistant, was among those who assisted the Liberian delegate to a regional meeting Mr. Patrick Sawyer, who died from the Ebola Virus Disease at a Lagos hospital on 25th July 2014.
Mr. Abdulqudir had been under quarantine following that sad incident.
The Commission wishes to use this opportunity to express its gratitude to Nigerian government authorities and others who contributed to managing the late official while under quarantine. The Management of the Commission wishes to commiserate with Mr. Abdulqudir’s family and colleagues and prays for the repose of his soul.
Before this sad event, the Commission working in collaboration with Nigerian health authorities, had disinfected all the facilities of the ECOWAS Lagos Liaison Office as part of precautionary measures to safeguard the health, safety and security of staff members, and will continue to monitor the situation.
Management has also intensified awareness campaign among staff on the deadly virus and uses this opportunity to invoke the spirit of solidarity and mutual assistance. “The Commission wishes to reassure staff of all Community Institutions all over the entire region that it is taking all necessary steps to guarantee their health and safety.
Furthermore, Management enjoins all staff members and community citizens in general to intensify the observance of personal hygiene. They should also report any suspected case to health facilities and seek medical advice or attention for the effective containment and defeat of the Ebola disease.
On the directive of regional leaders, ECOWAS has already set up a Solidarity Fund to fight the disease and has solicited the support contribution of Member States and development partners to the Fund to rid the region of the virus.
The ECOWAS Commission wishes to reiterate its continued commitment to support Member States in confronting this deadly virus."