Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
The Bauchi State Surveillance Support Officer, Dr. Suleiman Lawal, has disclosed that about 16 persons have died of Lassa fever disease in the state in 2020.
Lawal who disclosed this in an interview with journalists at the lassa fever camp at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, said that a total of 43 confirmed cases were recorded in the state since January, 2020.
According to him,”Bauchi State has recorded 43 confirmed cases of Lassa fever but two out of this number were brought in from Plateau State. Among these confirmed cases, 16 deaths have been recorded this year.
He also added that: “There are also three people that have died of probable cases. They are called ‘probable cases’ because we couldn’t take their samples before they died.
He explained that, “Totally, we have seven health workers that were affected. One of the doctors who was pregnant and had the disease, we managed her and discharged her. Four others are currently on admission, we’ve been managing them. They are now stable, in fact, we will discharge two of them today because they have finished their 10 day treatment period”.
While stating that: “Two doctors died, one was a doctor that died here (at the ATBUTH) while the other one died in a private clinic here in Bauchi.
that, “Most of the deaths are as a result of late reporting and that is not our fault, something will happen and people will not report on time so we are appealing to people to always come on time,” he advised.
Speaking further, he said, the state has received assistance from the World Health Organisation and the United Nations Children Endowment Fund (UNICEF) in its efforts aimed at reducing the scourge of the disease to the barest minimum, and appealed to well- meaning members of the public to support in the fight against Lassa Fever.
Lawal further explained that there are seven pillars that will help in managing the epidemic which he said are: education, communication, risk communication, surveillance, case management, laboratory confirmation and prevention and control,pointing out that communication is key in managing the epidemic.
He pointed out that, “if people get the correct information, they will know how protect themselves and this will help in breaking this chain and reducing the spread. Sometimes, people feel it has spiritual undertones, but if you give them the correct information, they will know exactly what it is, so communication is a very key pillar in controlling outbreak responses.