Nigerian doctors dismissed

Doctors strike in protest against sacking of colleagues

As the Ebola virus spreads through countries in west Africa, hundreds of doctors in Lagos have protested against the sacking of several thousand doctors in residency training programmes (some figures put the number at 16,000) by the government of Goodluck Jonathan.

The government has explained its move on the grounds that it wants to review its medical training programmes. Federal but not state teaching hospitals have been affected. The minister for health says that none of the dismissed doctors has been working with Ebola quarantine or prevention programmes.

On 18 August four more patients were discharged from an Ebola quarantine facility in Lagos although three new cases have been detected. So far four people have died of the Ebola virus, three of whom were involved in the treatment of the first Ebola victim in Nigeria, of a Liberian businessman.

12 cases of the Ebola virus have been confirmed so far in Nigeria. The Lagos state government has now provided a new 40-bed isolation ward in Lagos. 189 patients are in quarantine in Lagos and six in the city of Enugu.

As a precautionary measure the body of a British national who died in Austria after returning from Nigeria is being tested for the Ebola virus, as is the body of a Nigerian woman who died soon after arrival in Abu Dhabi from Lagos.