Lassa fever survivors laud NCDC, Edo Govt. for interventions

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Lassa fever survivors, Aide Odion, wife Florence and son Ephraim
Lassa fever survivors, Aide Odion, wife Florence and son Ephraim

Jessica Onyegbula

Lassa fever survivours in Edo have commended the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and the Edo Government for their timely response which ensured they were saved from the dreaded disease.

A cross-section of the survivours who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin City, the Edo capital, noted that drugs and few other services were rendered to them free of charge at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH) with the support of NCDC.

One of the survivours Aide Odion told NAN that he was grateful to NCDC and Edo Government for the support and enlightenment which gave him and his family members a chance to live.

“It started with my wife in December 2017 and she was discharged on Dec. 31, and on Jan. 13, my two kids got infected; I usually go to visit them and before I realised it, I contracted the disease.

“I am grateful that we all came out alive because I saw with eyes how people died, though it cost me a lot of money.

“I spent about N450,000 to get four of us treated of the disease; I borrowed money from all angles.

“However, I was positive throughout the period; I always said that I will not die or loose any member of my family to the disease and I thank God it happened that way,” Odion said.

Another survivours Ndubuisi Ojonike, an indigene of Enugu State who resides in Auchi, urged the Federal Government to reward those that risked their lives for others.

According to Ojonike, it will be unfair for government not to appreciate the risk the doctors and nurses at various Lassa fever isolation centres go through to make patients live.

“I am saying my mind because I know they go through a lot of risk to make patients live.

“I know what they (doctors, nurses and caregivers) went through within the seven days I was on admission at ISTH.

“Doctors and nurses have family members they carter for but they leave them behind to care for us.

“There were many patients when I was there; at times I feel for the nurses because you will see five or 10 persons taking care of the patients.

“At a point, assistance came from outside, so, anyone who puts his or her life in line for others has to be encouraged,” Ojonike said.

Mr Tony Ekhayemhe, who also survived the dreaded disease with his wife and son, said he now educate people on how to avoid Lassa fever.


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