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ECOWAS Staff Who Assisted Patrick Sawyer Dies Of Ebola

A Protocol Assistant, Mr. Jatto Asihu Abdulqudir, with the ECOWAS Commission Liaison Office has died of the ebola virus disease.

Abdulqudir, was one of those that rushed to the aid of Nigeria’s index case, Liberian national, Patrick Sawyer when he collapsed on arrival at the Lagos airport from Monrovia.
The Commission in a statement issued Tuesday night said Abdulqudir has been in quarantine since it was revealed Sawyer died of the Ebola disease.

“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 statement read.

Last week, the Commission had announced the temporary closure of its Lagos office to allow for fumigation of the premises, as the vehicle in which Sawyer was conveyed to the hospital was parked within the premises for several days.

The ECOWAS staff, including the driver, who had also assisted him had returned to the office and interacted with others. They were subsequently placed under quarantine for observation.

ECOWAS expressed condolences to the late Abdulqudir’s family and colleagues and disclosed that it has already intensified awareness among its staff while seeking solidarity and mutual assistance.

Read ECOWAS full statement on the passing of the late Mr. Abdulqudir below.

“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.”

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