• Edo, Ondo worst hit •Disease kills pregnant woman in C’River
Senator Iroegbu in Abuja and Bassey Inyang in Calabar
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has reeled out worsening cases of Lassa fever with about 77 confirmed cases and 405 suspected cases across different states of the federation in 2018.
Adewole made this startling revelation on Monday at the emergency National Council on Health meeting in Abuja.
He said there have been seven cases of Lassa fever in Ebonyi State owing largely to surgical operation, stating that Edo and Ondo States have worst cases of the disease.
“The confirmed cases of Lassa fever occurred in 2017 after a period of 17 years,“ the minister said.
To this end, the minister stressed the need for all stakeholders in the health sector to adopt a contextual multisectoral approach in sharing data on disease outbreak in the country.
“We need to intensify our communication sector both at state and federal levels, and actively share data on disease surveillance,” he said.
Speaking further, Adewole called on each state to have operational centre for public health intervention, not only for Lassa fever outbreak.
He further stressed on the need to engage in preventive measures of eradicating Lassa fever outbreak than having emergency outbreak.
The minister also disclosed that the federal government is working with the development partners to curb Yellow fever in the country by giving out 25 million doses of vaccine in seven years.
He also called on the states who are yet to pay their counterpart funding for measles eradication to comply as soon as possible.
Adewole listed the states yet to pay their counterpart funding to include: Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Ekiti, Ogun, Oyo and Akwa Ibom States respectively .
Meanwhile, the Edo State Commissioner for Health, who was represented by Dr. Daniel Umezuruike, disclosed that the state recorded 56 cases of Lassa fever.
According to Umezuruike, the state government had series of enlightenment campaign to familiarise the indigenes with the.disease.
“We created awareness in 18 local government areas, and aired jingles in different broadcast stations.
“We are properly monitoring the health workers to ensure there is no spread of the disease,” he said.
Also speaking, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Representative, Dr. Wondi Alemu, said the organisation would not relent on giving the necessary support towards the effective prevention of Lassa fever and outbreak of other diseases.
Alemu urged each states to gear up towards effective operation of combating the disease.
He said: “We expect that monitoring will be done in each station of the federation. We are guided by the global standard of disease regulations and emergency operations,and we expect each states of the federation to improve on the means of managing the disease.”
The WHO country representative also advised health workers to fully protect themselves while on duty by putting in place adequate preventive measures, saying: “This should be part and parcel of healthcare operational delivery system in the country.”
Alemu also commended the federal government for convening the emergency National Council on Health meeting at this particular time to prevent Lassa fever outbreak in the country.
Meanwhile, pregnant woman, whose identity was not disclosed, has died in Calabar from a suspected case of Lassa fever.
The woman, who died yesterday at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH), was said to have been brought to Cross River Sstate from Taraba State.
Information has it that on getting to Calabar, the woman was first admitted in the Nigerian Navy Hospital along Moore Road Calabar, before she was transferred to the intensive Care of the UCTH.
The state Commissioner for Health, Inyang Asibong, who reacted to the death of the woman whose age was not disclosed confirmed the incident?
The commissioner who spoke through phone, said the late pregnant woman was brought from the Taraba State and taken first to the Navy Hospital.
She said when her situation was improving, she was moved to the intensive care of the UCTH where she eventual died of a suspected case of Lassa fever.
The death of the woman has created some anxious moments with the authorities of the health care sector in the state, who before now assured the populace that adequate measures have been put down to contain the outbreak of Lassa fever in the country.
She explained that sample of blood of the deceased has been taken for proper diagnosis, assuring that measures have been put in place to avoid spread.
Following the death of the woman from a suspected case of Lassa fever, there was noticeable panic at the UCTH where some patient who shared the same ward with the deceased have started relocated