Nigeria offers life insurance to Ebola volunteers
By Rafiu Ajakaye, Monday, August 11, 2014
LAGOS – Nigerian authorities have rolled out a life insurance policy for health workers who volunteer to help in the country's drive to curb the spread of the deadly Ebola virus.
"While volunteering is usually done as a means of giving back to society, the federal government of Nigeria and the Lagos state government have partnered to make available some compensation packages as a means of demonstrating our gratitude for selfless services," Lagos Health Commissioner Jide Idris said in a statement on Monday.
"The hazardous jobs will have hazard packages that include life insurance," added the official.
It is not clear if the latest package is included in the $11.6-million special intervention plan unveiled last week by President Goodluck Jonathan.
A Nigerian female nurse has tested positive for the Ebola virus, meanwhile, bringing to ten the total number of confirmed infections, including two fatalities, registered in Africa's most populous nation.
The nurse was among those who came in contact with Patrick Sawyer, an infected Liberian who came to the country on July 25.
Sawyer had shown symptoms of Ebola and was admitted to a Lagos hospital, where he later died.
A nurse who had come in contact with him later succumbed to the disease.
Last week, Nigeria said it had placed 139 people – all of whom had various degrees of contact with Sawyer – under watch.
The country has also declared a state of national emergency to curtail the spread of the virus.
Ebola, a contagious disease for which there is no known treatment or cure, has claimed hundreds of lives in the West African countries of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
The tropical fever, which first appeared in 1976 in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, can be transmitted to humans from wild animals.
It also reportedly spreads through contact with the body fluids of infected persons or of those who have died of the disease.
Copyright © 2014 Anadolu Agency