By Isaac Ukpoju
The Nasarawa State Government has said that no fewer than eight people have so far died following the recent outbreak of Lassa fever in the state.
Dr Ibrahim Adamu, the Director of Public Health in the state’s Ministry of Health, made this disclosure to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lafia.
Adamu said: “Of the 11 confirmed cases recorded since the index case in November 2016, eight have died while three others are responding to treatment at the Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital (DASH) in Lafia.
“The three survivors in DASH are recovering very fast, two of them will be completing their treatment today – Tuesday to be discharged while the other will complete his treatment by the weekend’’.
Adamu also said that the number of people, who had contact with the patients and were being monitored, had risen to 82 from 66.
“All those identified contacts now under surveillance, have been placed on oral drugs and we monitor their temperature twice daily,’’ he added.
He said the State Government had shown commitment towards fighting the outbreak by providing the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and drugs for the treatment of the disease.
According to him, the insinuation that health personnel are complaining of not having access to PPE is not true as the State Government has provided adequate PPEs to the hospitals.
He explained that the PPE was meant to be given only to the health personnel giving service to the affected patients.
“There is a lot of anxiety for the disease, which makes everybody in any hospital where there is a confirmed case to want to wear the PPE.
“However, there is also a clear method of the transmission of the disease that people should be aware of and when the need to wear the PPE arises,’’ he said.
Adamu said that in order to allay the fear on the spread of the disease at the hospital, some wards at DASH had been designated as isolation centres for the Lassa fever patients.
He added that the State Government had also approved the creation of a disease isolation centre along Shinge road in Lafia.
Adamu said that fund was appropriated for the project in the 2017 budget and it had been defended by the ministry before the State House of Assembly.