Vivien Irikefe’s EBOLA IN NIGERIA: BORDERS REMAIN CLOSED is an enterprising response to the outbreak of the Ebola virus Disease in Nigeria. Nigeria had wrestled for one month with the Ebola Virus Disease since the death of the index case of the Liberian diplomat, Mr. Sawyer in a Lagos hospital. There was great concern in the land on how to contain the disease and prevent fresh cases breaking out. Whilst the citizens were being enlightened on personal hygiene, the borders were announced closed to fashion out a coordinated approach that would consolidate the internal steps being taken.

Knowing the porous nature of the nation’s land borders, Vivien took the initiative to visit two of such borders at Seme and Idi Iroko in the South west to monitor the preparations on ground and establish the level of awareness of the disease.

Her report established that whilst vehicular traffic may have been halted, the porous borders still allowed for a lot of movement by foot. At Seme border, there was little consciousness of the disease whilst Idi Iroko had in place some effort to screen travellers.

Her interview with Nigerians and Beninois on both sides of the border showed that ignorance was bliss as there was little or no awareness of Ebola and that official rhetoric was far from reality. The report was useful in rousing the country to the enormity of the work that was still to be done.

A graduate of Theatre Arts from the University of Abuja, Vivien’s 15-year broadcasting experience has taken her through Galaxy Television, Unilag 103.1 fm, Silverbird Television and Continental Broadcasting Services. For her sense of social responsibility, she is being awarded the Omobola Onajide prize for Television Reporting.


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