16 New Cases of Lassa Fever Confirmed in Five States

  •   WHO seeks digital solutions to UHC

Sixteen new cases of Lassa fever disease were confirmed by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in five states.

A week 13 update provided by the centre at the weekend showed that the new cases were reported in Edo, Ondo, Bauchi, Taraba and Plateau States.

This is coming as World Health Organisation (WHO) has sought the application of digital solutions in tackling impediments to Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Nigeria.

The NCDC said two new deaths were recorded in Bauchi and Taraba States.

“From January 1 to March 31, 2019, a total of 2034 suspected cases have been reported from 21 states. Of these, 526 were confirmed positive, 15 probable and 1693 negative (not a case).

“Since the onset of the 2019 outbreak, there have been 121 deaths in confirmed cases. Case fatality ratio in confirmed cases is 23 per cent. 21 States  – Edo, Ondo, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Ebonyi, Plateau, Taraba, FCT, Adamawa, Gombe, Kaduna, Kwara, Benue, Rivers, Kogi, Enugu, Imo, Delta, Oyo, Kebbi and Cross River –  have recorded at least one confirmed case across 81 Local Government Areas,” it said.

The NCDC noted that “in the reporting week 13, one new health care worker was affected in Plateau State. A total of 17 health care workers have been infected since the onset of the outbreak in seven States, Edo (seven), Ondo (three), Ebonyi (two), Enugu (one), Rivers (one), Bauchi (one) Benue (one) and Plateau (one) with two deaths in Enugu and Edo States”.

“Twenty-nine  patients are currently being managed at various treatment centres across the country – Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital(ISTH) treatment Centre (10), Federal Medical Centre Owo (nine), Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki (three), Bauchi (two), Plateau (three) and Taraba (two)”.

The centre further stated that “a total of 6,489 contacts have been identified from 20 States. Of these 1443(22.2 per cent) are currently being followed up, 4983 (76.8 per cent) have completed 21 days follow up, while 8(0.1 per cent) were lost to follow up.

“One hundred and twelve (1.7 per cent) symptomatic contacts have been identified, of which 55 (one per cent) have tested positive. Multi sectoral one health national rapid response teams (NCDC, NFELTP, Federal Ministry of Agricultural and Federal Ministry of Environment) deployed to Taraba and Bauchi States · National Lassa fever multi-partner, multi-sectoral Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) continues to coordinate the response activities at all levels”.

Meanwhile the World Health Organisation weekend advocated application of digital strategies as a way of accelerating universal health coverage.

Speaking at a walk organised in Abuja to commemorate the World Health Day tagged: “Universal Health Coverage: “everyone, everywhere, everytime,” Dr. Mashidito Moeti, said this year’s commemoration of World Health Day shines a spotlight on the advantages Universal Health Coverage (UHC) can bring to all people and in all places and also why it is needed so much.

“It is needed because it ensures that everyone – no matter who they are, no matter where they live and no matter when they need it – can access essential, quality health services without facing financial hardship.

“Considering this, I am accelerating support to countries to re-align their services and consider strategic shifts to achieve UHC. This involves re-assessing their essential services to ensure they are designed for ‘everyone, everywhere and every time’, and then introducing innovative approaches to deliver these services.

“For example, if we can harness the power of the bulging youth population in the region, and make use of digital solutions, we can put in place innovative systems to deliver UHC for the people of Africa”, she said.