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WHO Declares Nigeria Ebola-Free

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The World Health Organisation has officially declared Nigeria free of Ebola after six weeks with no new cases.

WHO representative in Nigeria, Rui Gama Vaz, speaking in Abuja on Monday, said it was a “spectacular success story” for the country.

In response, the minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, credits the success to strong leadership – “The success factor is strong, effective, focused and committed leadership  and replicated at various levels down the ladder.”

According to him, next to leadership is the effective coordination of the various collaborating partners.

Nigeria won praise for its swift response in tackling the Ebola virus after a Liberian diplomat, Patrick Sawyer, brought the disease there in July.

The outbreak has killed eight people in Nigeria and more than 4,500 people in West Africa, mostly in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone.

The WHO officially declared Senegal Ebola-free on Friday.

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Meanwhile, European Union foreign ministers are meeting in Luxembourg to discuss how to strengthen their response to the threat posed by Ebola.

European countries have committed more than 500million euros (£400m; $600m) but the UK is pressing to double that amount.

The money is being sought to help reinforce over-stretched healthcare systems in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea and to mitigate the damage Ebola is doing to their economies.

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