Chijioke Agwu, Abakaliki
The Mangament of the Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital Abakaliki (AE-FUTH) at the weekend said the hospital had recorded 81 new cases of Lassa fever virus between January this year and the present month, March 2020.
The Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Emeka Onwe Ogah, disclosed this at the Lassa fever virology centre inside the hospital while inaugurating a Lassa fever Caretaker centre built and donated by a group of medical doctors, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) also known as Doctors Without Borders who have been partnering the hospital to combat the virus.
Ogah said the situation was getting out of hand because of lack of equipment needed in treating the virus.
He said: “In the next two years, these doctors will leave, how will the institution cope? Imagine where we didn’t have MSF, what would have happened this year? There would have been a very serious crisis.
“Some people here did not know that there is an outbreak of Lassa fever in Ebonyi State. If you go to the town and talk of Lassa fever, they will doubt what you are saying. They will ask is it still in existence?
“As at three days ago, the total number confirmed cases from January was 81. Some people now sacrifice their time and money to pay for every patient; whatever thing that patient has enjoyed here. At times, they will even buy coffin for the burial of those that died. It is something we need to reflect on. If people will leave the comfort of their home to come and save us, it is something we have to reflect on and rethink on what we will give to the society.
“Now, we have the manpower but lacking the machine or equipment to work. There are other things that if we have them here, I think we will have better outcome. The room for the dialysis the space is very small and very inconveniencing. We need things like ventilator, we need more dialysis machine, we things like table ultra-sound, we need mobile x-ray. So, if our government is not supporting us the way they should and you people have seen that we are supposed to be encouraged because of our commitment, we will be very pleased if such things are factored in and MSF come to our rescue. Those things will help us to improve lives.”