In a bid to curb the rising surge of Lassa fever outbreak in the Country, the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has perfected plans to partner the Federal Ministry of Health to bring the outbreak under control.
NARD’s National President, Dr. Olusegun Olaopa and the Secretary-General, Dr. Anthony Ude, disclosed on Monday, 28th January 2019 Monday that the recent resurgence in the number of reported cases of Lassa fever was worrisome. Lassa fever is a viral illness caused by the Lassa fever virus. It is predominantly a disease transmitted directly to humans through contact with infected multi-mammate rat, its urine and feces.
It is also transmitted indirectly through contact with household items, foods which are contaminated with rodent’s saliva, blood, graces, urine and person to person contact. When promptly recognized and diagnosed, it is treatable and Nigeria has active dedicated treatments centers, spread across the country.
“From Jan. 1 to Jan.13, 2019, a total of 172 suspected cases have been reported out of which 35 of the cases were confirmed by the Nigerian Centre of Disease Control. “The Association and its affiliates and partners are supporting the Ministry of Health in all aspects of the response, including epidemiological investigation, surveillance, logistics, case management, communications and community engagement.
“While we remain dedicated toward mitigating morbidity and mortality, we urge the general public to visit reputable healthcare facilities to seek medical care and resist the urge of self-prescription. “We also enjoin members of the public to focus on prevention by practicing good personal hygiene and proper environmental sanitation,’’ the association said in a statement.
According to the association, effective measures include storing grain and other foodstuffs in rodent-proof containers. The resident doctors also recommended the disposal of garbage far from household, stressing that clean households discourage rodents from entering homes.
“Hand washing should be practiced frequently; we also advise the public to avoid bush burning. “We call for adequate provision of required safety materials and supplies to all health care facilities. “NARD remains committed to supporting the efforts of government and public health trust teams to prevent and respond to public health threats,’’ the association revealed.