No Lassa Fever Epidemic In Anambra- Health Commissioner
Anambra State Government has shown its eagerness and readiness to combat any disease that may endanger the Health of its people. This was shown through the recent rapid response in containing the imported case of Lassa fever from Asaba, Delta State. Assuring the people of the State that the State is not endemic of Lassa fever.
This assertion was made by the Hon. Commissioner for Health Dr Joe Akabuike to press men in his Jerome Udorji Secretariat Office, Awka. He advised members of the Public to debunk the news going round that the State is endemic of Lassa fever as the rumour is not true.
Narrating the Origin of the Story, Akabuike said that the Patient, a medical doctor was brought into Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital Nnewi, Anambra State (NAUTH) on 16th August 2016 by 3:30pm on a referral from Air Comfort Hospital Asaba because the Federal Medical Centre Asaba was on strike. On arrival the doctors suspected the patient based on the symptoms and signs that suggested Hemorrhagic fever. Immediate precautionary measures were taken to manage the patient but he died two and half hours later after which the Corpse was confined to a particular place in the morgue. Immediate contact tracing of all the people that came in contact with the patient was carried out and a total of 19 persons were identified. These people were classified as low risk as they had little or no contact with the patient.
The Hon. Commissioner also commended the Hospital Management and staff of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital Nnewi, Anambra State Emergency Rapid Response Team and The State Epidemiology Unit for the immediate response and measure they took to handle the situation. The State Government has taken the responsibility of burying the corpse on 25th of August 2016 and this was done based on World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation to prevent spread.
When asked on the other two cases that was reported, Dr. Akabuike said that the other two death happened last year in Federal Medical Centre Asaba and because they are from Anambra State, the State Government undertook the burial as a preventive measure. ‘’The State Government under the Leadership of Chief Willie Obiano and the federal Ministry of Health have contributed immensely to the successful management of this case’’ he said.
The Hon. Commissioner also advised the general public to be in the watch out for people with persistence fever, and that people should learn the habit of presenting themselves early to hospital whenever they are sick, emphasising on the need for people to maintain good personal and environmental hygiene which is the easiest way of preventing rodent based illness.
By Nwokedi Nwanneka